When medical student Dan Cain finds his pet cat has been killed and stored in the fridge, he detects the hand of his crazed flatmate, Dr Herbert West. West is perfecting a serum which can reanimate life, and as his experiments begin to yield positive results, Dan and his girlfriend Megan become privy to the dubious methods by which the deranged doctor conducts his research. Before long Dan is helping West reanimate the corpses in the hospital morgue, an unwise action which leads to a night of unimaginable terror.
A corpse. A syringe full of day-glo green re-animating fluid. And Herbert West. What could possibly go wrong...?
Plenty, if this wildly funny and extremely gory film is anything to go by. RE-ANIMATOR is a classic example of comedy and horror combining to shred the usual expectations by thrusting us headlong into altogether crazier dimensions - and that still applies now, 22 years after it first eviscerated onto our cinema screens. It sure still feels fresh to me, with evidence in almost every scene of the excitement and adrenaline that must have permeated the whole production at the time. (Not difficult either to imagine the producer and director donning their protective splash-suits and saying to each other on a daily basis: "go for it!").
I love the 'teaser' (pre-titles sequence), the titles themselves - including a wonderful musical nod to Hitchcock's PSYCHO - and the remaining 80-odd minutes. Yes, if you're in the right mood, there's not a single wrong-footed moment to spoil this show.
And what a show. Watch in slack-jawed amazement Herbert West's obsessive experiments to bring back to life that which has expired, including a distinctly pissed off cat. Stare in wide-eyed disbelief as a severed head plumbs depths hitherto unexplored by your average movie severed head. Pray in silent torment that the final re-animation of a central character justifies the whole catalogue of horror that has preceded this moment.
So why doesn't all this excess leave a nasty taste in the mouth? Because there's a directorial tongue firmly planted in everyone's cheek, that's why. Thank you STUART GORDON and BRIAN YUZNA. Oh, and if you're still not sure, check out JEFFREY COMBS'/HERBERT WEST'S delivery of the classic line: "Of course he's dead, the dosage was too large", it'll make your eyes pop out. And on that bombshell, I rest my surgical case.
Boasting some great packaging, a pristine picture and sound transfer, it's easy to say I wish there were more films like this, but something inside is glad it's a one-off. Forget the sequels, although you might consider FROM BEYOND. H.P. Lovecraft's RE-ANIMATOR has now been passed uncut by the BBFC, so buy it - and appreciate a truly great film from a decade of considerable dross.
Re animator is one of the greatest horror movies of our time.It's about a scientist who comes up with a formula that can wake up the dead,but after an experiment goes horribly wrong,he has a real mess on his hands.
This is the UNCUT version of the movie and has all the extras you could possibly expect.If you have the opportunity to see it don't pass upon it you will laugh until you scream!
When Herbert West, a medical student who was working in Switzerland with the late Dr. Gruber, starts at the Miskatonic Medical School in Massachusetts, he is quickly introduced to a promising young student called Dan Cain and the world renowned brain surgeon Dr. Hill. Upon meeting Dr. Hill, West makes it very clear that he feels Dr. Hill's work is useless and outdated. Soon after his introduction, Herbert moves into Dan's spare room where he discovers that Dan is seeing the school Dean's daughter Megan. Megan seems instantly creeped out by West and his strange behaviour, and for good reason as it isn't long before Dan gets dragged into West's bizarre experiments aimed at reanimating the dead. The two break into the school and begin their experiments which accidentally leads to the death of Megan's father, soon after Dr. Hill discovers exactly what they've been upto and tries to steal their work, leading to a gory, grotesque and often hilarious battle between West and Hill.
Horror legend Jeffrey Combs is a joy to watch as Herbert West, he plays the role with such sinister relish that it's impossible not to like him. A lot of the films comedy comes from how straight Combs plays the role, and along with From Beyond, Castle Freak and The Frighteners, this is his best work. The other real standout performance comes from the late David Gale as Dr. Carl Hill, Herbert West's nemesis. He died aged just 54 and I haven't seen anything else he made apart from the sequel, a shame he appeared in so little as he's wonderful in Re-Animator. Barbara Crampton is very pretty and played her role as Megan well, she later teamed up again with Combs in Castle Freak. Bruce Abbot and Robert Sampson round off the main cast as Dan Cain and the Dean Alan Halsey, but Combs and Gale are what make this film so endlessly enjoyable. I love the direction from Stuart Gordon and i'm sure the actors loved it too, this was his first proper film and to this day it's his best. He quickly followed it up a few years later with the excellent From Beyond and Dolls, after the 80's his films have been a little bit more hit and miss, but Fortress, Castle Freak, Dagon and Stuck are all very watchable. Re-Animator virtually steals Bernard Herrmann's fantastic Psycho score, but it fits the film so well that I can't imagine the film without it. There's some nudity, and lots and lots of over the top gratuitous gore. The effects and gore are brilliant considering this 1985 classic was made for under $1,000,000, it's probably the bloodiest over the top film i've seen along with Evil Dead 2 and Braindead.
This 2 disc special edition is packed with extras, especially when compared to the near barebones dvd I owned previously. On disc 1 there's what appears to be a cleaned up version of the film as it looks better than my old copy, there's a commentary from director Stuart Gordon and a second commentary from producer Brian Yuzna (later a director himself and director of the sequels), and actors Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton and Robert Sampson. Of course it would have been even better with David Gale. Disc 2 is just as good, a brilliant 70 minute making of, interviews with Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna, further interviews with writer Dennis Paoli, composer Richard Band and Fangoria editor Tony Timpone. A music discussion with Richard Band, deleted scenes, extended scenes, trailer, tv spots, production stills gallery, behind the scenes still gallery, fun on the set gallery, posters and advertising gallery, storyboard gallery, Stuart Gordon biography, the screenplay and finally Herbert West, Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft from which the film is based. It's a great dvd and what all special editions should be like, check out the Poltergeist "special edition" to see how little is on some. Considering how much is on the discs, it seems crazy that there's no subtitles which would obviously be a big problem for some.
Re-Animator is a great film and now has a great special edition, one of the best horror comedies ever made and if you're not too squeamish and aren't bothered by the perverted, gratuitous tone, you should love it.Read more ›
I loves Re-Animator  [DVD].The look of the revived corpses is quite disgusting and according to a friend,who said he seen a dead person once,very realistic.The actors are all very engaging and Jeffrey Combs is fantastic as the overly ambitious Re-animator..I'm sure we all know that Barbara Crampton as the beguiling Megan Halsey has her knockers-and if I believed in god-I'd thank him for 'em too!She is a total 80's scream queen sexpot..in my youth I nearly fell in love with her.The gore is fantatic too...eyeballs pop,heads are severed and some guts burst out.This movie has it all if you like to see nudie 'dead' folks..especially this big-piece who pegs it and Dean gets those electric paddle things on her to start her heart up-CLEAR!!BUMPH!(wobble)FANTASTIC!Stuart Gordons finest hour in my opinion..but if you need more Barbara Crampton get From Beyond too..phwoar...Jeffrey Combs is a jammy git!
Often with B movies & horror movies of old (e.g. Nosferatu), the film fails to hit the right notes. Either the horror is dated & corny or the director has flashes of genius, but no consistency.
Thankfully this is not true with this film. Starring the guy who played 'Weyoun' in Star Trek - Deep Space Nine, the film has that unnerving quality & goriness that makes truly great horror. Jeffrey Combs' character grips you from his very first line (the title of this review) & his weirdness is never too extreme, staying within the realm of the understandable (just...)
Furthermore there are also the other actors/ actresses who are convincing and never have any 'B-movie moments' (when you can tell they're reading a script!) Unusually for this type of film, you actually become interested in the plot as all the performances are fleshed out & deep, which is not true of say The Evil Dead (great film though it is).
About the goriness, I felt this movie hit the nail on the head. The gore is not sparse & timid, but nor is it an overdose or 'the gore, the merrier'. Each bit of squeamishness is used efficiently, but not overplayed & this is refreshing from an era of 'video-nasties' that tended toward cliched over-emphasis.
I can honestly think of little to criticise in this film. There are the odd bits that strain credulity (e.g. the baddie not losing his mind when resurrected) & there is little music (except the intro/outro song, which is compelling).
And since I can find little to criticize in this film, I have no hesitation in recommending it to horror fans everywhere. Of course, you should bear in mind that it is horror (not suitable for young-ones or women who don't like scary films) & there are some nude scenes. You should also read some of the other reviews (for balance). However, I can honestly say there is nothing I have found in my searches that would stop me endorsing this as a truly great horror film.Read more ›