Herbert West is an "Anti-Hero" from the Re-Animator Franchise. He is based on the H.P. Lovecraft's character of the same name. First appearing in Re-Animator, West has been played by Jeffrey Combs in the Series Trilogy.
Although not widley known to most Horror fans, Herbert West is still a recognizable character and certainly a cornerstone to many future "Zombie" Tales.
Armed with his special formular, Dr. Herbert west attempts to "Re-Animate" the Dead back to life.
At some point in his life, Herbert West creates a Reagent. West intends for this formula to be the answer to life after death. An obsession that would take a hold of West's mind for the rest of his life.
The Zurich Incident and the Miskatonic MassacreEditAt Zurich University Institute of Medicine in Switzerland, Herbert West brings his dead professor, Dr. Hans Gruber, back to life. There are horrific side-effects, however; as West explains, the dosage was too large. When accused of killing Gruber, West counters: "I gave him life!"
West arrives at Miskatonic University in New England in order to further his studies. He rents a room from medical student Dan Cain and converts the building's basement into his own personal laboratory. There is an instant animosity between West and faculty member Dr. Carl Hill. West declares that Hill stole the theory of brain death from Dr. Gruber, West's mentor.
Dan discovers that West has re-animated his dead cat, Rufus, with a glowing reagent. West recruits Dan as his partner in research to defeat death. Dan's fiancee Megan dislikes West, especially after discovering Rufus re-animated in a state of dismemberment.Hill manages to turn Dr. Halsey, the school's dean and Megan's father, against both West and Dan. Barred from the school, the two sneak into the morgue to test the reagent on a human subject in an attempt to salvage their medical careers. The revived corpse goes on a rampage, attacking them. Halsey stumbles upon the scene and, despite attempts by both West and Dan to save him, is killed by the corpse. Armed with a bone saw, West dispatches the reanimated cadaver. Unfazed by the violence and excited at the prospect of working with a freshly dead specimen, West injects Halsey with the reagent. Halsey returns to life, but in a zombie-like state. Hill discovers West's work and gains guardianship over Halsey, whom he puts in a padded cell adjacent to his office. Dan and Megan break into Hill's office where they find evidence that Hill is obsessed with Megan and has lobotomized her father. Hill has gone to confront West in his basement lab and threatens to blackmail him to continue his research so that Hill can take credit for West's reagent. While Hill is distracted, West decapitates Hill with a shovel. Overcome with curiosity, West re-animates both Hill's head and body. While West is questioning Hill's head and taking notes, Hill's body knocks him unconscious. The body carries the head and steals West's reagent, returning to Hill's office. Exercising mind control over Halsey, Hill sends him out to kidnap Megan from Dan.
West and Dan track Halsey to the morgue, where they find Hill's body holding his head in a compromising position over a restrained Megan. West distracts Hill while Dan frees Megan. Hill reveals that he has re-animated and lobotomized several corpses from the morgue to do his bidding. However, Megan manages to get through to her father, who fights off the other corpses long enough for Dan and Megan to escape. In the ensuing chaos, Halsey is torn to pieces by the corpses after he destroys Hill's head and West injects Hill's body with what he believes is a lethal overdose of the reagent which began to destroy Hill's body. Hill's body mutates horribly and attacks West, who screams out to Dan to save his work as he continues fighting.Dan retrieves the satchel containing West's reagent. As Dan and Megan run from the morgue, one of the re-animated corpses attacks and kills Megan. Dan takes her to the hospital emergency room and tries in vain to revive her. In despair, he injects her with reagent. Just after the scene fades to black, Megan screams, implying that her re-animation has backfired.
In the War and Creating a "Bride"Edit
Eight months after the events of Re-Animator, Dr. Herbert West and Dr. Dan Cain are working as medics in the middle of a bloody Peruvian civil war. In the chaos of battle and with plenty of casualties to work on, they are free to experiment with West's re-animation reagent. When their medical tent is stormed by the enemy troops, West and Cain return home to Arkham, Massachusetts. There, they resume their former jobs as doctors at Miskatonic University Hospital, and West returns to the basement laboratory of Cain's house to continue his research.Using parts pilfered from both the hospital's morgue and from the cemetery conveniently located next door, West discovers that his reagent can re-animate body parts by themselves. He becomes determined to create an entire living person from disparate body parts. West discovers the heart of Megan Halsey, Cain's fiancée, in the hospital morgue. With the promise to use her heart to re-animate a new Megan, West convinces Cain to help him with his project. Also stored in the morgue is the rest of the evidence from the previous "Miskatonic Massacre". Inside, pathologist Dr. Wilbur Graves discovers a vial of West's reagent and the severed head of Dr. Carl Hill. Using the reagent, he re-animates Hill's head.
Meanwhile, police officer Lt. Leslie Chapham begins investigating West and Cain. He bears a grudge against the pair, as they were the only unaffected survivors of the Miskatonic Massacre; the dead body of Chapham's wife was re-animated into a crazed zombie during the incident. Chapham suspects West and Cain were responsible. When he stops by their house to question them, he discovers West's corpse-filled lab and the two get into an ugly confrontation. A fight ensues and West ends up killing Chapham by means of cloth treated with a chemical which causes cardiac arrest when inhaled (a product of West's research into obtaining the freshest possible corpses for his experiments). West then re-animates the police officer with the intention of covering up his crime. Chapham violently wanders out of the house and into the cemetery next door.Hill also bears a grudge against West, as West was responsible for his decapitation; the destruction of his body; taking away Megan, whom he was obsessed; and having better theories about reanimation than himself. Using hypnotic powers, Hill commands Chapham to force Dr. Graves to stitch bat wings onto his neck, giving him back his mobility. He also extends his mental control to all of the zombie survivors of the Miskatonic Massacre.
When one of Cain's patients, the beautiful Gloria (Kathleen Kinmont), dies, West collects the last piece he needs for his creation: her head. With a complete body stitched and wired together, West and Cain inject the re-animation reagent into Meg's heart. While waiting for the reagent to take effect, a package is delivered to their house. West retrieves and opens it. From inside, Hill's winged head flies out. Simultaneously, all of the zombies he controls break into the house. West retreats back to the basement lab, where his creation, the Bride, has awoken.A catfight breaks out between the Bride and Cain's current girlfriend, Italian journalist Francesca Danelli, whom he met in Peru. Cain rejects the Bride's love and sides with Francesca. Heart-broken, the Bride rips Megan's heart out of her own chest and then literally falls to pieces. West diagnoses this as tissue rejection.
Hill and his zombies force West, Cain and Francesca to retreat through the wall of the lab and into a crypt in the neighboring cemetery. Inside, all of West's prior test subjects arise and make their way towards him, stopping only when Herbert commands them to. The unstable crypt begins to collapse, trapping Hill, West and the zombies. Cain and Francesca manage to escape the debris and claw their way to the surface of the cemetery together. Hill, stuck in the debris, laughs manically, while Megan's heart, still in the hand of the bride, stops beating.
Some time later, West had once again managed to escape his own destruction and has apparently been working alone. At some point, one of West's Zombies escapes and breaks into a household residence. The incident resulted in the death of a teenage girl.
Immediatley after this, West is arrested and loaded into the back of a police car. He notices the brother of the dead girl watching him as the car drives away.
13 years later and Herbert West is still serving his prison sentence. With what scant supplies he has on hand in the prison medical center, Dr. West has been capable of performing only extremely basic experiments on rats. However, his lack of supplies does not prevent him from uncovering a key element in his re-animation process. When a young doctor named Howard Phillips comes to work at the prison, he teams up with West to help him attain the supplies and tools needed to bring his experiments to the next level. Phillips is the younger brother of the teenage girl who was killed and came to the prison for the explicit purpose of working with West. In the meantime, Phillips gets a girlfriend, the journalist Laura Olney.Dr. West has discovered "NPE" (Nano-Plasmic Energy), an energy that can be extracted from the brain of a living organism through an electrocution-like process, to be stored in a capsule resembling a small light bulb. The capsule can then be connected to a corpse and used in conjunction with West's previously developed reagent to restore the former dead to a life-like state. The NPE prevents the degeneration seen in previous instances, where the reanimated are nothing more than mindless zombies. Used together with the re-agent, reanimated corpses regain their skills, memories, and motor functions and nearly fully resemble normal humans.
The warden of the prison uncovers West's experiments, and is subsequently killed and re-animated a la Dr. Carl Hill in the first Re-Animator. However, West uses the NPE from a prisoner's pet rat, causing some unexpected side effects in the warden's behavior. It manifests itself as the prison descends into utter chaos as a riot breaks out, with vials of the reagent circulating through the population. Soon, it is unclear who is dead, who is alive, and who has been exposed to the agent. During the chaos, Laura is killed. Phillips is believed to be criminally insane by guards, when they find him weeping over Laura's head, severed from her body.West manages to escape the prison by stealing Phillips' I.D., when he comes across him weeping over Laura's decapitated body before the guards appear. In the end of the film, West is shown putting on his glasses outside the prison, once he has slipped past security. He then throws a human eye, struggling to move, onto the lawn of the prison. After witnessing this, West slips into the night to continue his research.
Herbert West is set to appear in the fan-made PC game Terrordrome, alongside several other Horror characters.
- Bride of Re-Animator
- Beyond Re-Animator