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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.

BLOODY WELL RECOMMENDED
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on 11 June 2015
Before re-animator was officially released to the public known as the Unrated version back in 1985
Producer Brian Yuzna & stuart Gordon had planned to release the workprint version to the public
which basically has all the Deleted scenes inserted in the Unrated footage making the runtime 104mins
known now as the Integral version
but then Brian & Gordon made a quick minute decision just to release the Unrated version without the Deleted scenes
which is the version that fans know today

U.K. Distributor second sight gained the rights this new Integral cut & released it on blu-ray for the first time ever
which is the longer 104mins version, Deleted scenes inserted back in the film
plus second sight gave the usual Unrated cut a new 4k HD transfer in 1:78:1 widescreen ratio
and i tell you the picture quality does look amazing very nice sharp & clear colour restoration
the U.S. image blu-ray version has the transfer look like a DVD transfer from the old Anchor bay release
so second sight really did make an effort with the picture quality for sure
the Audio options are the same 5.1 Master audio mix & a 2.0 stereo mix aswell
the Integral version has been given normal 1080p HD transfer (not 4k) in 1:78:1 ratio with only a 5.1 Master mix
the so called Integral version makes the storyline/Plot more detailed with the Deleted scenes
but little slow paced hence the 104min runtime
the Unrated cut briefly tells the plot but focusse's more on the Blood/Gore scenes of course
it's matter of opinion really if you prefer the integral cut or the usual Unrated cut
i like like integral version more myself
all the special features have been carried over from the Anchor bay release
Disc 1 has the Unrated cut
with the usual Audio commentaries taken from the old Anchor bay release
1st commentary is stuart Gordon, the 2nd commentary is Brian Yuzna, Bruce abbott, Barbara crampton etc
both interesting commentaries worth listening to
Disc 2 has the 104min Integral version in 1:78:1 widescreen
plus all the special features
RE-ANIMATOR RESURRECTUS-70min Documentary taken from the 2006 Anchor bay dvd
which has interviews with Stuart, Brian ,writer Dennis paoli, Actors Jeffrey combs, Bruce abbott, Barbara crampton
plus others, plus special effects make up man John beauchler and his team, incredible Doco obviously.
plus other interviews taken from older dvd versions
with Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna, music composer Richard band, Fangoria editor Tony timpone
plus Deleted scenes & extended scenes some of these are in the integral version
plus Theatrical trailers, the usual TV spots, radio spots, Behind the scenes Photo Gallery
so don't waste your money buying the Image ent' blu-ray
this second sight blu-ray is the version to get for sure only available as steelbook packaging, it's also region B locked
so U.S. fans will need ALL REGIONS player for sure
5 stars for the film, 5 stars for this new second sight blu-ray so get it while it's still available to buy
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on 5 July 2014
I first saw Re-Animator many years ago via the cut VHS rental tape. Even though the film suffered from BBFC censor cuts to the gore and 'head giving head' scene, I still thought the film was very entertaining and original. I'm glad to say the film is now available in HD with all the cuts restored, and is presented in a lovely steelbook package. The two stand out actors for me in this film are Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West, and the late David Gale as Dr Carl Hill. David Gale, in particular, seems to relish his role as the decapitated head of the lecherous Dr Hill. There's some juicy splatter to sate the gorehounds (popping eyeballs, bonesaw mutilation, finger biting, beheading by shovel, etc), and some terrific make-up FX for the creepy looking zombies in the climactic mortuary scenes. If you want to add some classic 80s horror to your Blu-ray collection, I'd recommend you buy Re-Animator and give it a spin.
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on 31 March 2012
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.
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on 28 January 2014
We all know the score with Re-Animator, one of the best wall to wall, fun gore movies of the 80's.

This expensive German blu-ray is the only release that offers the theatrical cut and the composite version that contains all the gore and deleted scenes (apart from the dream sequence) from the T.V. version in lovely HD.

Bringing the running time up to a whacking 104 mins this cut is much richer in characterisation and irons out a few narrative inconsistencies from the theatrical version. Any fan will have seen the scenes before on the many numerous releases but they work much better in the context of the whole movie and add a surprising amount of depth.

You also get a raggy copy of the censored T.V. version where the extra scenes originated as an easter egg.

Packaged in a beautiful media book with twenty pages of German only text and photos the set does look stunning and I doubt the movie will ever achieve a better presentation.

WARNING! This review appears on the Spanish five disc set page. That release does not contain the composite version.

I'm off to tryst with a bubble headed coed!
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on 24 September 2015
Prior to owning Capelight's impressive region free steelbook of the horror comedy classic "Re-Animator" and its 1990 sequel "Bride of Re-Animator", I owned the lackluster bluray of the original film released by Image. The Image bluray used an extremely dated HD master that was barely an improvement over Anchor Bay's anamorphic DVD as well as being improperly framed. Image has earned a deserved reputation for releasing poor blurays of classic horror titles and their bluray of "Re-Animator" was no exception.
Capelight came to the rescue with their region free NTSC bluray that features a stunning transfer of "Re-Animator" which was scanned at 4K resolution from the original negative. The image features more picture information on all sides and blows the Image disc out of the water without even breaking a sweat. This is easily the best this film will ever look and has possibly ever looked. No digital scrubbing was done so the film features incredible color reproduction and texture. A high bit rate results in no compression artifacts. Audio is presented in German and English lossless HD with English & German subtitles. All extras from the Image bluray were ported over however they are in 50 hz PAL format so you will need a bluray player that can play PAL format and an HDTV that can decode PAL stuff too (my bluray player does both actually).
As a bonus you also get the 1990 sequel "Bride of Re-Animator" making its bluray debut in an equally nice transfer. Some of the unrated footage is a bit more washed out but overall blends seamlessly. Audio is in 2 channel HD but is a little bit muffled at times and hissy. All extras from the old Pioneer DVD are ported over as well also in PAL format.
Simply put fans of Re-Animator must own this bluray by Capelight. The film has never never looked better and they also included the fun 1990 sequel on its on disc too looking great in HD as well. Highly recommended!
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VINE VOICEon 27 January 2010
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.
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VINE VOICEon 28 January 2008
Say hello to HERBERT WEST, re-animator of dead, previously living, tissue. He's a doctor. He's also certifiable...but don't worry, the day-glo green liquid in his syringe is completely harmless. Unless you're a corpse.

Now say hello to the REGION 1 MILLENNIUM EDITION of RE-ANIMATOR. This wildly funny and extremely gory film - a classic example of comedy and horror combining to shred the usual expectations - still does the business today, thrusting us headlong into altogether crazier dimensions a mere 22 years(!) after it first eviscerated onto our cinema screens. A remarkable achievement by any standards.

I just love the 'teaser' (pre-titles sequence) and the animated titles with their wonderful orchestral nod to Hitchcock's PSYCHO and, yes, the remaining 80-plus minutes. 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 RE-ANIMATOR, but something inside is glad it's a one-off. Forget the sequels, although you might consider FROM BEYOND.

Unrated and uncut, you really ought to buy it now - and appreciate a film of barking mad brilliance from a decade of considerable dross.

UNRESERVEDLY RECOMMENDED
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 October 2013
After all these years I finally got around to watching Stuart Gordon's much loved and much talked about adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's Herbert West, Re-Animator. The author was a bit dismissive of his own story, but the filmic adaptation is a riotous ball of blood, guts, sexual kinks and laughs.

Plot in a nutshell finds two medical students getting more than they ever could bargain for when they start reviving corpses with Herbert West's (Jeffrey Combs wonderful) gooey serum.

It's all very 80s, but in a good way, because it takes one away from remembering all the formulaic slasher movies that dominated the decade, so with that in mind Gordon's movie should not be under valued in the context of being different. It obviously isn't for everyone, but for those with a bent for horror comedy spliced together as some sort of funny Freudian grue fest, then this is the bomb.

It doesn't need selling to most horror fans, but to the tentatively interested I say don't make the mistake I made and wait 28 years to see it! 7.5/10
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on 8 August 2014
The German steelbook edition of Re-Animator / Bride of Re-Animator is perfect. Picture quality / considering the age of the movies and low budget level of the production / is astonishing. Sound is great and there's a lot of bonus material about the movies.I think that's the uncut versions of both films and I don't know if there's any other blu-ray edition of the second part. It's worth the price for two classic horror flicks presented with respect and loyalty.
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