Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rejuvenatrix, Brains!

Today, a modern retelling of The Wasp Woman . A bit more stylish, less campy, and a whole lot gorier, 1988's "Rejuvenatrix" is a bloody fable about the fear of aging.  Hair growing out of our ears? Leaving our turn signal on 100 miles past our turn? Perhaps, for every year that ticks away, our proximity to death increases.  Either way, when a brilliant scientist has a serum that will reverse the aging process, the results are all too predictable to horror film fans.  Perhaps Nicole Kidman and Madonna will get the memo on this in the near future.

Ruth Warren (Jessica Dublin) is an actress 25 years past her prime.  She hooks on to Dr. Ashton (John MacKay) who is inventing a serum to reverse the aging this will actually go well. Though Ashton and his nubile assistant Stella (Katell Pleven) want to test the stuff on lab rats, Warren pressures Ashton to inject her.  He does, and now Ruth regains her youthful looks and calls herself Elizabeth (Vivian Lanko).  Uh oh, the looks don't last and Ashton is forced to make more and more serum.  Here lies the problem, he needs brains to extract the necessary ingredients for the serum.  At first he hires a ghoulish guy to bring him cadavers...from where?  Don't ask.
After every injection, Elizabeth regains her youth, guessed it.  She needs more and more serum more often.  Now Elizabeth discovers, as she turns into a hideous monster, that she hungers for brains.  The monster attacks, slices opens skulls of the living, and dines on still pulsating brains (do brains pulsate?).  As Dr. Ashton works on a synthesized formula, so Elizabeth won't need fresh brains, it is apparent that our monster likes killing and eating brains.  After all, would you settle for a synthesized wine?  As the pretty Stella loses her scalp (...and brain), Ashton, perhaps too late, realizes that Elizabeth is now a monster.
Will Dr. Ashton eventually be on Elizabeth's menu?  Can today's past their prime actresses glean valuable lessons from today's story?  Isn't this a good time to remind ourselves that beauty is more than skin deep?  Gory, and carnage filled, "Rejuvenatrix" is a film that will turn your stomach.  Perhaps a sage warning...when a new and improved Botox is!!!

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