skeleton driving a car. Not a rotting, pustulant, zombified corpse driving a vintage badass hot rod, but a simple, goofy, grinning Halloween-y skeleton, bared phalanxes at a sharp 10 and 2, careering off in a late-model sedan from what looks like a bordello of fellow active skeletons. And one of those skeletons has hair, quite feminine hair. Do you see the woman in the window? Second floor, middle. Ooh-la-la! Also, a skeleton pondering a noose and one swinging an ax. Huh. Skeletons are not scary; they're silly. And what about ol' mom jeans giving our skeletal pal the once-over twice? I do believe the fates have something in store for these two, putting them on a cover of a fairly lame '80s horror novel like Resurrection Dreams, Richard Laymon's agreeable but ultimately underwhelming and underwritten 1989 novel.
Book of the Dead, seemed to me an artless mess of sexual violence and gore.
Re-Animator, with a madman trying to resurrect dead bodies, Dreams is hackwork of the most inoffensive kind. Melvin Dodds is the high school nerd (you can tell that by his name) who, in a completely unbelievable moment just a few pages in, shocks the town with a horrifying experiment he displays at the school's science fair: trying to resurrect the body (with jumper cables!) of a popular female classmate, recently killed in a drunk driving accident. He ends up locked away in a mental hospital for 20 years; after he's released he heads back into town and operates a gas station. One of his former classmates, now Dr. Vicki Chandler, returns, and Melvin realizes he's loved her all along. The resurrection techniques he began in high school are now perfected, and if Vicki won't love him willingly, well....
Resurrection Dreams is ham-fisted and obvious, gory in the dullest manner, lacking the wit or passion or intensity that could have made his somewhat intriguing premise memorable. Let's just turn off the lights and close the door, shall we, and never speak of this again.
Manhattan Baby (1982)
6 hours ago