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Re-Animator (1985)

Unrated | | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi | 18 October 1985 (USA)
A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.

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(story "Herbert West, Re-Animator"), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gerry Black ...
Carolyn Purdy-Gordon ...
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Barbara Pieters ...
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Bunny Summers ...
Swiss Woman Doctor
Al Berry ...
Derek Pendleton ...
Swiss Policeman #1
Gene Scherer ...
Swiss Policeman #2
James Ellis ...
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Storyline

A medical student and his girlfriend become involved in a bizarre experiment into reanimating the dead conducted by the student's incorrigible housemate in this campy sendup of an H.P. Lovecraft story. The emphasis is on humour but once the dead walk, there is gore aplenty. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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It will scare you to pieces. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

18 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Hora dos Mortos Vivos  »

Filming Locations:


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Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
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Runtime:

(unrated) | (R-rated) | (extended edition)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bald, bearded doctor at the foot of Megan's bed who gets shoved away as Dan tries to revive her is underground cartoonist Kim Deitch ("The Boulevard of Broken Dreams"), son of legendary Jazz-era cartoonist Gene Deitch ("The Cat"). See more »

Goofs

The window in Dr. Hill's door is broken when Dan and Meg go snooping around in his office, but it is whole later on when Dr. Hill returns. See more »

Quotes

Herbert West: Hill! Hill took my serum, my notes, everything!
Dan Cain: Herbert you're insane! Now what happened here?
Herbert West: I had to kill him!
Dan Cain: What? He's dead?
Herbert West: [reluctantly] Not anymore.
Dan Cain: Herbert!
[grabbing Herbert and shaking him]
Dan Cain: This has got to stop!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Horror Business (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Greatest of All Lovecraft Interpretations
4 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After learning all he can learn in Switzerland, Herbert West comes to America to study life and death. Can death be overcome? West thinks so, and with his reagent serum he might just prove to the world how right he is.

"Re-Animator" ranks at the very top of my all-time favorite horror movies. For a guy who has seen probably one thousand horror films, that's quite the accomplishment. For me, the film is paced perfectly, has plenty of gore, a fair amount of nudity (and a scene of sexuality you won't find elsewhere), some black comedy and a simple plot premise (a variation on the Frankenstein story).

This is the film that gave Jeffrey Combs his place in cult film history. On the basis of this movie alone, he is sought after to appear in other horror films and appear at horror conventions. Sure, some of his other films are pretty good, and he had an impressive run on both "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "The 4400". But he will always be known as Herbert West. None of the other stars (David Gale, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton) has gone on to such a level of recognition.

The film has some flaws. The score, which is supposed to be an "homage" to "Psycho" sounds more like a blatant ripoff. And my biggest pet peeve is trying to find a complete copy of the film. I owned the longer, R-rated version on VHS. Now I own the shorter, unrated version on DVD (the Millennium Edition). I have yet to find one that combines the gore of the uncut version with the plot of the R-rated one (which I think really drives home the story and fleshes out the motives and power of Dr. Hill).

But the sheer fun of the film makes up for the flaws. Jeffrey Combs is clearly having plenty of fun, and the way they approach such things as the reanimated cat and the use of the reagent as an intravenous drug tells me they knew that the key was just letting a good time fly.

The people involved with this film (Combs, director Stuart Gordon and producer Brian Yuzna) went on to make a variety of other Lovecraft-inspired films. So I guess I have to thank the success of "Re-Animator" for giving them the chance to pursue these other projects (even the less wonderful ones like "Necronomicon" or "Dagon" (which many people like but I wasn't impressed)).

If you're a horror fan and haven't seen this, shame on you. You simply cannot have an in-depth conversation on horror without this film coming up. I urge you to check it out and decide for yourself. Can thousands of horror fans be wrong on this one? When have they steered you wrong before?


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