Director – Stuart Gordon (From Beyond, Dolls)
Starring – Jeffrey Combs (Bride of Re-Animator, House on Haunted Hill), Bruce Abbott (The Last Starfighter, Black Scorpion), and Barbara Crampton (Tales of Halloween, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich)
Release Date – 1985
Rating – 4/5
Blu Release – 4/5
When I went dick first into horror there was a handful of movies I would watch so often that I could quote from beginning to end without missing a line. Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead II, Return of the Living Dead, and Re-Animator were those films. I first watched Re-Animator when I was in middle school and went to Tennessee to visit my brother and his wife. We went to Blockbuster and grabbed a few movies. I had forgot to bring my favorite movies to watch and hoped they had them there.
They did not but I decided to grab Re-Animator and fell in love with it. In fact, I loved it so much that my brother tried to buy their copy. A few days later I was able to track down my own copy on VHS. Since then I have owned the film on DVD, blu, and most recently a second blu release from Umbrella Entertainment reached my ears. I reached out to them and they were kind enough to hook me up with a copy. Thanks guys for sending this one my way!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows med students Dan Cain (Abbott) and Herbert West (Combs) who recently met and are now roommates after West transfers in from Switzerland. West is an odd man and prefers to keep to himself conducting strange experiments which is why Dan’s girlfriend Megan (Crampton) doesn’t like him. When the cat turns up missing Dan investigates and learns of West’s secret serum that brings the dead back to life. They work together on perfecting the serum but Dr. Hill discovers his serum and attempts to claim it as his own forcing West to kill him. West refuses to pass up the chance to work with a fresh cadaver and reanimates Hill resulting in his consciousness remember West, the serum, and what he did to him. West is forced to act or lose his work. **Spoiler Alert**
Re-Animator is one of those films that can be light hearted at times but the tone of the film can change and you are tossed deep into a gruesome horror tale. I love how the humor is there but the tone changes when the film hits the more bloodier moments that way the gags don’t lose impact.
The acting in this one is great. Jeffrey Combs and Bruce Abbott both solidified their spots as two of my favorite actors after seeing this film and the sequel Bride of Re-Animator. Their chemistry on camera is unmatched and they balance each other out so well. The supporting cast is perfect as well. Barbara Crampton and David Gale are fantastic and their characters are great on screen.
The story for this one is an adaptation of the short story from H.P. Lovecraft for those of you that didn’t know. It unfolds very well on screen and has great pacing. As each scene starts to slow down we re given something extremely interesting to then grab our attention again.
Finally, this film is pretty gruesome and bloody. We have several death scenes with plenty of gore. The effects are top notch and employ several camera tricks, classic gags, and makeup effects to pull them all off. Overall, Re-Animator is essential viewing for any horror fan. The cast is phenomenal, the story is great, and the effects are bloody. This release does incorporate most, if not all, of the same special features already on the U.S. dvd and blu release but the artwork is untouchable. Check it out!
Re-Animator Resurrectus Documentary
16 Extended Scenes
Music Analysis by Composer Richard Band