If the title of THE REGENERATED MAN sounds like a throwback to '50s B-movies, that's appropriate, since the movie plays like Eisenhower-era pulp.
Dr. Robert Clarke (Arthur Lundquist) is a young scientist researching the regeneration of human cells with his assistants Kathryn (Cheryl Hendricks), who is also his girlfriend, and Tony (Andrew Fetherolf). They're working on a formula that will allow people to grow back lost limbs, but one
night, some thugs break into the lab when Dr. Clarke is working late. The crooks believe Dr. Clarke is hiding gold there, and when he insists he has none, they force him to swallow his own chemicals and leave him for dead. But instead of killing him, the formula transforms him into a hideous
creature that uses its own anatomy as a weapon, firing bone fragments at its victims or strangling them with veins and viscera.
Soon afterward, a bum (Eric Marshall) finds a test tube full of the same chemicals in the trash and drinks it, becoming a similar creature. As the thugs who attacked Dr. Clarke, as well as other criminals and local workers, are hideously killed, Dr. Clarke realizes that blackouts he's been
having correspond to the times the murders occurred and figures out what's happening. With Kathryn and Tony, he begins to work on an antidote, but before they can perfect it, the doctor transforms again and escapes. Tracking the creature to a warehouse with the help of police, Kathryn and Tony
shoot him with a chemical that should return him to normal. Instead, it accelerates the mutation and transforms him into a gigantic monster that spontaneously explodes. Returning to the lab, Kathryn and Tony are shocked when they're confronted by the creature, which then changes back into Dr.
Clarke. It was the bum who died at the warehouse, and for now, it appears that Dr. Clarke will remain normal for good.
Clearly intended to pay homage to the horror cheapies of yore (right down to naming its lead character after the star of 1958's THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON), THE REGENERATED MAN has all the familiar ingredients: science gone awry, a dedicated doctor and his devoted girlfriend, cartoony bad guys, a
hardboiled detective (Greg Sullivan) in search of the truth, and a casual contempt for the rules of reality. It also, unfortunately, reproduces such "qualities" as static camerawork, cheap sets, limited characters, and corny dialogue, without any kind of contemporary or knowing spin on the
material. Perhaps Ted A. Bohus, credited as director, co-writer, and co-producer, felt that simply inserting these elements into a modern setting would automatically provide a humorous contrast, or maybe he just respects the genre too much to poke fun at it. Either way, sadly, it comes off here as
dated and trite.
The one concession to modern sensibilities, as one might expect, is the increased gore and nudity quotient. The makeup effects by Vincent Guastini and brief computer-generated visuals by Dan Taylor (both of whom collaborated with Bohus on the far superior METAMORPHOSIS: THE ALIEN FACTOR) are
well-realized on the low budget, but the pedestrian direction of the monster scenes--the creature simply steps into frame without much buildup, does his dirty work, and leaves--negates their horrific potential. The filmmakers' hearts seem to have been in the right place, but THE REGENERATED MAN
lacks the style or perspective to generate real chills. (Graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: If the title of THE REGENERATED MAN sounds like a throwback to '50s B-movies, that's appropriate, since the movie plays like Eisenhower-era pulp. Dr. Robert Clarke (Arthur Lundquist) is a young scientist researching the regeneration of human cells with… (more)