The mid-'80s were a Golden Age for schlock horror, with the boom in the home video market providing a hungry audience for low-budget thrills.
Going for a Barbara Crampton hat-trick, it's time to revisit the film that made her a horror icon: Re-Animator.
One of the many diamonds in a mostly rough field was Stuart Gordon's liberal re-imagining of one of HP Lovecraft's lesser works (Lovecraft is on record as saying he hated his stories of Herbert West as they were written for money; "drivel written for the masses").
Re-Animator updates Lovecraft's original to modern times (well, the 1980s) and turns a Frankenstein parody into a darkly, darkly funny Grand Guignol farce.
The simple plot follows the arrival of Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) at Miskatonic University in Arkham, after an "incident" in Switzerland, where he rooms with fellow student Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott), who is dating the dean's daughter, Meg (Barbara Crampton).
Unbeknownst to all, Meg is also an object of lust for creepy neuroscientist Dr Hill (David Gale), who eventually discovers that West - with the reluctant help of Cain - has been experimenting with a revolutionary re-agent that can give a form of zombie-life to recently deceased bodies.
Events spiral out of control, as they always do, leading to a crazy, climatic, gory zombipalooza in the University hospital's morgue.
As well as a quality script that brings a surprising amount of character to a blood-soaked B-movie, the effects are very inventive - as are some of sicker elements of humour: no one will ever forget the reverse-necrophilia scene where a re-animated corpse tries to get down with blonde-bobbed Meg.
There's also, thanks to Meg, a lot more female flesh on display in this 86-minute film than I recall seeing in the sequels.
Of course, I can't really pass comment on this film without singing the praises of Jeffrey Combs.
As well as cementing the charms of Barbara Crampton in the psyche of horror fans, Re-Animator was also the film that made Combs a B-movie star.
While he may not have the same instant name recognition as Bruce Campbell I'd put them on very similar levels as comedy horror legends.
While Campbell has the square-jawed, everyman, goofy hero role down pat, Combs is the man to call if you want a more cerebral, single-minded, and possibly amoral, protagonist.