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Re-Animator (1985)

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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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2,750 ( 78)
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:

It will scare you to pieces. 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 special effects department went through twenty-five gallons of fake blood during the shoot. See more »

Goofs

The bone saw that Dr. Hill uses to dissect the cadaver in class never rotates. See more »

Quotes

Herbert West: [Hits Dr. Hill over the head from behind, with a shovel. Then, while decapitating him by driving the blade of the shovel through his neck:] Plagiarist!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Housewife Alien vs. Gay Zombie (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Greatest of All Lovecraft Interpretations
4 May 2007 | by gavin6942See 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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