Re-Animator (1985)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  18 October 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 37,288 users  
Reviews: 202 user | 195 critic

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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Herbert West Has A Very Good Head On His Shoulders... And Another One In A Dish On His Desk See more »


Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi


Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

18 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Hora dos Mortos Vivos  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$900,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(unrated) | (R-rated) | (Eextended Edition)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Very loosely adapted from H.P. Lovecraft's "Herbert West - Re-Animator". See more »


During the final bit of the 'cat scene,' a pharmaceutical bottle on the table bears a label with the university's name misspelled as 'Misketonic' rather than 'Miskatonic.' See more »


Herbert West: Who's going to believe a talking head? Get a job in a sideshow.
See more »


Spoofed in Frankenström (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Modern Horror Classic
4 March 2004 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

The astute viewer will immediately pick up on the tone of Re-Animator. The introduction (added to the film at the last minute before its release) is a glimpse of the over-the-top nature of the entire production. If one were to be frightened by this intro, he or she will be comforted by the playful cheer of the opening title music. The score was heavily inspired by the famous Psycho score, a classic by Bernard Herrmann.

The movie, inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's `Herbert West: Re-Animator', follows a simple plot. Herbert West (played to precise pitch perfection by Jeffrey Combs who, like Bruce Campbell, is a B-Movie legend) is new at Miskatonic Medical University. Immediately, Herbert clashes with Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale) on the subject of `brain death'.

At the same time, Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot) is looking for a roommate. He is also dating Dean Alan Halsey's (Robert Sampson) daughter, Megan (Barbara Crampton). When Herbert West shows up at Dan's door one night during a `study' session, Megan is immediately suspicious. Why is Herbert so anxious to move in? Why is he so interested in the basement?

It is not long before the cat is dead, re-animated and dead again. The early scenes of violence are disturbing and hilarious at the same time and are only a taste of what is to come. Dan tries to resist the temptation of power inherent in the re-animating fluid, but is sucked into Herbert's mad world of life giving.

There is a turn of events about halfway through the film (which I would be crazy to spoil) that almost screams to the viewer, `We aren't playing by the rules here.' The storyline twists its way to the famous conclusion that, if you haven't heard of it, will leave you breathless. Even if you know what is going to happen, when you finally see it, in all of it's gory, sexual glory you understand why this classic has achieved such a status. The finale of the film is twisted in so many ways it's impossible to count.

Obviously, I loved the movie. Having never been anything but a horror fan, I cannot say it will suit everyones' tastes. The film is so over-the-top that the outrageous gore becomes less and less shocking. The timid viewer may want to shy away from this masterpiece. Anyone with even the slightest curiosity should seek this movie out.

65 of 78 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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