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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 19 December 2016
AUDIO: English DTS HD Master 5.1
REGION: A (locked)
EXTRAS: 2 Audio commentaries, "Re-Animator Resurrectus" Documentary, Interview with Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna, Interview with Dennis Paoli, Interview with Richard Band, Music Discussion with composer Richard Band, Interview with Fangoria Magazines Editor Tony Timpone, Deleted and Extended Scenes, Theatrical Trailer, 5 TV Spots

Video Quality: * * * * / * * * * *
Audio Quality: * * * * / * * * * *

1985's cult horror film RE-ANIMATOR is a very special zombie film. Based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, this also is the best of any of his adaptations. It was directed Lovecraft veteran Stuart Gorden (FROM BEYOND, DAGON) and stars Lovecraft veteran Jeffrey Combs (FROM BEYOND, LURKING FEAR) - an excellent team.
RE-ANIMATOR is not your typical zombie flick, as it stays pretty close to the original short story, HERBERT WEST - RE-ANIMATOR and is not made to cash in on the NIGHT/DAWN/DAY OF THE DEAD craze, therefore I rank it particularly high as it is a class of its own.
Much is owed to Combs's excellent performance as West and the superb special effects which even look great today. Also great performances by David Gale (West's antagonist) and Bruce Abbot.
At not even 90 mins. of length the pacing is excellent and I believe the most was made out of the source material. WALKING DEAD fans will be somewhat disappointed though, this is no zombie slay fest, no Peter Jackson's BRAINDEAD, and while there are some gore effects they are never extreme or overly violent and are not the focus of the film. It's never shocking and combines horror with some dark humor, drama and science fiction.
This movie exists in several versions, the heavily censored R-rated, the US unrated and the US TV version are the most known, of course several countries took it apart themselves to release their own butchered versions. It is thankfully available uncut in most countries now, also in the UK with previous BBFC imposed snips waived.
The US Blu-Ray reviewed here "only" contains the Unrated version in pretty good video and audio quality, while the UK Second Sight Blu-Ray contains the Unrated version in a superior 4k print along with the 'Integral' Version (which is the US TV version with all the gore of the Unrated version merged into one).
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on 3 September 2017
Movies like 'Re-Animator' don't come around all that often: A perfect blend of heightened drama, goofy comedy and over the top splatter - this 1985 low budget effort from then fledgling director Stuart Gordon and producer Brian Yuzna is everything you've read and a whole lot more! Delivering a crazily simple concept told with the deftest of hands, this duo's film is an exercise in precision and deserves its place as a bona fide classic in the horror hall of fame. Anyway, I digress...

We first meet straight as an arrow medical student Daniel Caine (a great Bruce Abbott) at Miskatonic University in New England, who besides acing his classes is conducting an illicit affair with Dean Halsey's daughter Meg (Barbra Crampton) on the side. However, his life takes a sideways swerve when mad medico Herbert West (a career defining Jeffrey Combs) turns up to take residence with Dan, first locking horns with the creepy Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale) and then conducting weird experiments in their basement... But, what are these experiments and who exactly is the good Dr West? As Dan delves deeper, he uncovers the secret of long dead professor Hans Gruber, a strange day-glo green serum with the power to re-animate the dead and a life or death struggle with the fate of not only himself but his love Meg hanging in the balance...

From that brief outline synopsis, 'Re-Animator' may sound like a melodramatic soap opera, but luckily director Gordon (along with co-screenwriter Dennis Paoli) injects the movie with enough crazy juice to ensure this one is a horror fan’s wet dream come true! From the loopy pacing to the wonderfully tongue in cheek acting, ‘Re-Animator’ is the gooey gift that keeps on giving. To mention the creativity shown in the make-up effects doesn’t fully do them justice, but they are a thing of beauty - with enough blood spattered funky undead action (not to mention dead cat tossing!) to fill a dozen direct to video zombie flick rip offs… Thankfully, the game cast sell this nonsense with leads Combs, Abbott and Crampton emerging as a formidable trio to reckon with - whilst not forgetting a truly unhinged character performance from David Gale as the creepily maniacal villain Dr Hill; whenever he is onscreen he literally tears the scenery apart and you find yourself eagerly awaiting his next appearance. Its a wonderful ‘lightening in a bottle’ movie never to be bettered (sadly, the sequels although entertaining aren’t a patch on the originals gonzo creativity) and worthy of a place in any horror movie fans collection.

Second Sight has delivered a spiffing blu-ray special edition with a marvellous transfer bolstered by pristine audio. Complimented by an exhaustive set of extra special features which includes both unrated versions (in 4k) and the ‘integral version’ (a European cut with more developed scenes) alongside the excellent documentary ‘Re-Animator Reserrectus’, interviews with Gordon, Yuzna, Paoli, composer Richard Band as well as audio commentaries with the above, Barbra Crampton & Bruce Abbott. All in all, this is a slam dunk definite purchase and will satisfy even the most hardened ‘Re-Animator’ fan. Highly recommended.
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on 19 May 2017
Still one of the great 80's horrors and this unrated version doesnt disappoint. Only requirement is a strongish stomach. Lots of noticable extra footage that wasnt there before due to unrated version. Reversible cover as well which is something I thought only Arrow did. Lovely to have in collection. Just add 'From Beyond' and 'Dolls' and your all set! Buy now!!!
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on 4 September 2017
love it classic movie better on blu ray
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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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Herbert West is an amoral and rather eccentric Doctor studying at the Miskatonic University (the very institution which sent a doomed expedition to the Mountains of Madness) in Arkham, Massachusetts. He has created a serum which can bring the dead back to life. Only there's a problem - the longer the subject has been dead, the more violent and murderous their resurrection will be.

Teaming up with a reluctant fellow student they experiment on twice dead cats and then onto real people. But the sleazy Doctor Hill finds out and muscles in on the action only to be slaughtered by West, who decapitates him with a spade. Out of pure curiosity, West brings the head and body back to life as two separate entities. And Hill continues to screw with West's work, despite having to carry around his own head most of the time.

Despite being very well made for the budget it was made on, Re-Animator doesn't have much going for it outside of energetic performances and a real enthusiasm for horror too rarely seen these days. There is no plot and events in the film only seem to happen to shock us or lead into yet another gore scene.

And there lies another problem - the filmmakers are keen to give us loads of gore and entrails and while they may be gross the first time round, by the second viewing you'll be disappointed at how tame it really is. No horror is implied or suggested. The only horror there is is that which is shown on screen. The indignity of not being able to rest in peace is never once considered and the murderous corpses are not all that scary.

Richard Band's score is nothing more than just alright too. It has an urgent sound to it but doesn't do much for the film and is completely free of melody or theme. In fact I'd argue that it's just the same cue played over and over. The lighting is flat and bland with barely an ounce of atmosphere, and the porn movie sets don't help much.

Gordon and Yuzna were obviously keen to make Re-Animator as best as they can and you can tell that they had a blast making it, but it's just not even up to standards the genre set by films like Evil Dead. And, speaking of Evil Dead, the Necronomicon (according to H.P. Lovecraft) is located in the library of Miskatonic University. Why didn't Doctor West just use that to bring the dead back to life?

West himself would go onto star in two sequels and feature as the primary antagonist in the Splatterhouse video games. He's a great character and the film soars whenever he is onscreen. I just wish it was more ambitious.

The Blu-ray looks good in 1.78:1 1080p from a 4k restoration. The sounds is in DTS HD-MA and there are loads of extras as well as a 104-minute "Integral Cut" of the film which has serious pacing issues. The inside of the Steelbook is blank.
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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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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.

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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 2 December 2015
Very good film!
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