After an odd new medical student arrives on campus, a dedicated local and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue.

Director:

Stuart Gordon

Writers:

H.P. Lovecraft (story "Herbert West, Re-Animator"), Dennis Paoli (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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4,928 ( 214)
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

Obsessed with the idea of overcoming the obstacle of death and determined to vindicate himself by backing up his theory, the ambitious medical student, Herbert West, arrives in New England, after the horrific incident at the Institute of Medicine in Switzerland. Before long, Herbert will pick up where he left off--at first, experimenting with dead feline tissue, and then, with fresh human cadavers--talking his sceptic roommate, Dan Cain, into joining his audacious project. Inevitably, as the two young scientists burrow deeper and deeper into uncharted territories, the campus will start brimming with West's reanimated corpses, catching the eye of his arch-nemesis, Dr Hill, who yearns to take credit for this astounding discovery. The dead will rise again, even with a bit of help; however, can the young re-animator harness the power of his phosphorescent green reagent? Written by Nick Riganas

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, Gordon was going to adapt Lovecraft's story for the stage, but eventually decided along with writers Dennis Paoli and William Norris to make it as a half-hour television pilot. The story was set around the turn of the century, and they soon realized that it would be too expensive to recreate. They updated it to the present day in Chicago with the intention of using actors from the Organic Theater company. They were told that the half hour format was not salable and so they made it an hour, writing 13 episodes. Special effects technician Bob Greenberg, who had worked on John Carpenter's Dark Star, repeatedly told Gordon that the only market for horror was in feature films, and introduced him to producer Brian Yuzna. Gordon showed Yuzna the script for the pilot and the 12 additional episodes. The producer liked what he read and convinced Gordon to shoot the film in Hollywood, because of all the special effects involved. Yuzna made a distribution deal with Charles Band's Empire Pictures in return for post-production services. See more »

Goofs

Just before Dr. Hill enters the padded room with the orderlies, he hits the window, making the whole wall shake. Again, revealing it as a fake wall. See more »

Quotes

Herbert West: I know your work, Dr. Hill. Quite well. Your theory on the location of the will in the brain is... interesting. Though derivative of Dr. Gruber's research in the early 70s. So derivative in fact in Europe it's considered plagiarized.
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Alternate Versions

The Australian version is uncut except that the US R-rated version was used in Queensland to obtain an M rating and avoid it being banned in that state. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

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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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

18 October 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Re-Animator See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$543,728, 20 October 1985

Gross USA:

$2,023,414

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,023,414
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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