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Re-Animator (1985)

Unrated | | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi | 18 October 1985 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Stuart Gordon

Writers:

H.P. Lovecraft (story "Herbert West, Re-Animator"), Dennis Paoli (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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3,961 ( 577)
4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeffrey Combs ... Herbert West
Bruce Abbott ... Dan Cain
Barbara Crampton ... Megan Halsey
David Gale ... Dr. Carl Hill
Robert Sampson ... Dean Halsey
Gerry Black Gerry Black ... Mace
Carolyn Purdy-Gordon ... Dr. Harrod
Peter Kent ... Melvin the Re-Animated
Barbara Pieters Barbara Pieters ... Nurse
Ian Patrick Williams ... Swiss Professor
Bunny Summers ... Swiss Woman Doctor
Al Berry ... Dr. Gruber
Derek Pendleton Derek Pendleton ... Swiss Policeman #1
Gene Scherer Gene Scherer ... Swiss Policeman #2
James Ellis James Ellis ... Psycho Ward Guard #1
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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

Taglines:

Death Is Just The Beginning... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

18 October 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Re-Animator See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$543,728, 20 October 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,023,414
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(unrated) | (R-rated) | (Integral)

Sound Mix:

Mono | 4-Track Stereo (Bionic Sound) (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film loosely adapts the first half of Lovecraft's original short story, including Herbert and Dan (who is unnamed in the story) meeting in medical school, Dean Halsey's death and reanimation, and the decapitation and reanimation of an authority figure to the doctors ("Dr. Hill" in the film and "Major Sir Eric Moreland Clapham-Lee" in the story). The next film, Bride of Re-Animator (1990), loosely adapts the second half of Lovecraft's story, including the two doctors reanimating corpses on a battlefield (WWI in the story and the Peruvian Civil War in the film), West's experiments with reanimating individual body parts, West going beyond just stealing cadavers and resorting to murder to get fresh corpses, an outbreak of West's former experiments from an insane asylum, the decapitated villain's head being delivered to West in a box, and finally West being dragged by his experiments into a series of cemetery catacombs through a wall in his basement. The third film of the series is named Beyond Re-Animator (2003) because it literally goes "beyond" Lovecraft's original story. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Dean Halsey is re-animated, the "re-agent" can been seen reflected in Herbert's glasses off of the table's surface. See more »

Quotes

Herbert West: Meatball?
Dan Cain: Just put your shoes on.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Re-Penetrator (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Tons of campy fun.
3 February 2005 | by Michael DeZubiriaSee all my reviews

Ah, finally a horror camp classic that deserves to be called a horror camp classic. Re-Animator is one of those fun horror movies that is so over the top that it is just a lot of fun to watch, kind of like the spectacular Evil Dead films, although not quite to that same level of skillful horror/comedy mix. Ironically enough, I think it should be a testament to the quality of the rest of the movie that it is able to work so well despite prominently featuring a soundtrack that is a naked rip-off of the Psycho soundtrack. It's amazing to me that Richard Bond, the music composer, didn't think anyone would notice him plagiarizing one of the most famous movie soundtracks in cinematic history, but luckily everyone else in the production was right on the mark.

Jeffrey Combs delivers a wonderfully crazy performance as Herbert West, the scientist in the movie who is determined that he has discovered a scientific method to beat death, and is desperate to try it out on a human being rather than small animals, on whom he has had remarkable success. He is playing a completely one-dimensional character, a genius scientist whose mental capacity is also tinged with madness, but which is counterbalanced by the fact that he may very well be desperate to try something potentially immoral but which could also potentially revolutionize medicine. Maybe his intentions are good after all, but for the purposes of the film, he just wants to get his hands on some fresh corpses, which is a great premise for a horror film.

The movie operates in its own world, like the Evil Dead films did. It takes place in the horror genre but wants to combine some elements of drama as well, as we have a real scientist who is truly brilliant. He is still in medical school, I believe, but is often smarter than his often-published professors, criticizing their work for being incorrect or even plagiarized. He's very quick to make enemies, I would think his line of work might be easier the less people he had watching him, so it's unfortunate that he was so good at making people not like him. Mere days after he rents out a room from a couple of other students, they find their cat dead in his refrigerator. I hate it when new roommates do that.

There is plenty of gratuitous nudity in the film, and while I appreciate nudity as much as the next guy, I don't like it when it drives a weak film, and that is certainly not the case here. There is a graphic and highly disturbing nude scene three quarters or so through the film that made me literally cringe and turn my head, not because of gore but by the sheer disturbing idea of it, it was awful. But the thing that I loved is that that scene fits in with the rest of this movie so well. It is all about too much gore and too much blood and too much nudity, but also lots of laughs. This is a perfect example of how much fun scary movies can be.


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