LET'S REVISIT our women's studies teachings from college! Behold the test subject: The Lazarus Effect, which stars Olivia Wilde as Zoe, a medical researcher who's trying to revive the recently deceased with a serum made from gobbledygook jargon. Initially, all seems great on the Feminism Front: Zoe's strong and smart and knows how to science. But! (There's usually a but.) This independent woman pines for her reticent fiancé and colleague, Frank (Mark Duplass), to marry her, but he's too busy trying to raise the dead. Feminism demerit.
You know what'll get a clingy lady killed? According to The Lazarus Effect, it's hoping that one's emotionally elusive man will settle down. During an experiment, Zoe gets mortally electrocuted through the metal on her engagement ring—which like a total dingle-fritz scientist, she forgot to take off. SYMBOLISM! Frank goes berserk and revives Zoe's body in the research team's first-ever human trial. Frank thinks to himself, "You know, that zombie dog we brought back? He's kinda erratic, but hey... I'm sure my gal will be a-okay." Smart thinking, head scientist Frank.
As suspected, Zoe isn't quite the same after being zapped back to life. Now she can move pens across tables... with her mind. Her neural activity is off the charts, because this LADY IS USING 100 PERCENT OF HER BRAIN! But it turns out the smart ones are real ball busters: Zoe's super-juiced noggin is making her even needier. She just wants to talk about her feelings all the time. "Why did you bring me back?" "Why do I feel this way?" "Do you still love me, even though I'm a levitating telekinetic?" Naturally, this lack of emotional support leads to murder.
Monster Zoe—now a black-veined psycho hose beast—starts her spree by squishing Donald Glover. (I'm sorry, but no smart lady would ever kill Donald Glover. That's ludicrous.) Then she gets jealous of a nubile grad student, because newly big-brained Zoe is now a petty mean girl. And she's still really, really into getting an emotional commitment out of Frank, because as every synapses-firing woman knows, she wants HER SPECIAL FUCKING DAY. Hmm... actually... it seems like she'd be more interested in figuring out how that stupid serum works and what its implications for the global population might be? But whatever.
Like a case of the vapors (that means bad gas, right?), The Lazarus Effect is an insulting stinker. And not just with a feminism-based lens either—it's rotten no matter how you look at it. Instead, I suggest you watch the far superior Flatliners. Invite over your favorite feminist—he usually brings wine.