Herbert West is a fictional character created by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story "Herbert West-Reanimator", first published in 1922. There have been several adaptations of the story.
Herbert West is the inventor of a special solution called "reagent" that when injected into a base of the neck of a recently deceased person causes the body's mechanical, living functions to return. However, most subjects that have undergone the "re-animation" process have turned violent and have shown barely any control over their higher level functions, such as talking and thinking.
In Lovecraft's tale, Herbert West was ostracized by his fellow medical students because he believed he could overcome death and had only one friend: the unnamed narrator of the story.
Re-Animator Film Interpretations
The character of Herbert West returned to popular media in the Stuart Gordon film Re-Animator and its follow-ups, starring Jeffrey Combs as Dr. West. These films transplant the character into the modern day (1980s-2000s) but otherwise the character remains unchanged. In the first two films the equivalent of West's nameless companion is Dr. Dan Cain, who finds himself embroiled in West's experiments.
A new film was released in 2003 based on the short story called "An Imperfect Solution: A Tale of the Re-Animator."
The online flash game Deanimator is based on H.P. Lovecraft's original character. The Splatterhouse video game series features a mad scientist "Dr. West" as the main antagonist and owner of "West Mansion", the setting for the game series.
The character of Herbert West has had brief cameo appearances in Kim Newman's Anno Dracula novels The Bloody Red Baron and Dracula Cha Cha Cha (also known as Judgment of Tears).
West is featured in the DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT comic miniseries Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator, where he faces off against Ash Williams, hero of the Evil Dead film series. West is also a character in the Swedish Lovecraftian horror film Kammaren. The scriptwriters did a Swedish take on the name and it became Herbert Vest. He was played by the Swedish actor Kaj Stenberg. Herbert West has a main role in the parody musical A Shoggoth on the Roof, published by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has a perfume called "Herbert West" in its A Picnic in Arkham collection.
"Herbert West" is the title of a 2007 song by UK band Heartwear Process.
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