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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Stuart Gordon

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

Stuart Gordon’s greatest work has finally received the shiny hi-definition re-release but does the transfer of an 80’s schlock video classic need the special treatment?

When the title of the film is RE-ANIMATOR then hell yes! If you don’t know the story already, where have you been, but the premise of RE-ANIMATOR is that Doctor Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) creates a luminous serum to reanimate the dead. Accompanied by medical student Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) and his dubious girlfriend Megan (Barbara Crampton), West drags them into the unknown with his charm and persistence, well, Cain at least.

Unbeknownst to West and Cain are the vicious side effects that turn the dead into brainless walking corpses but he is not alone in wanting to bring the serum to the masses. On the pursuit is bitter rival Dr Carl Hill (David Gale) who will literally lose his head to get his hands on the green stuff.

The reason RE-ANIMATOR is hailed as one of the greats of the genre is its penchant for not taking itself too seriously. For those who like their humour as dark as the night and their gore ramped up to 11, this is the perfect midnight movie. West has a career defining role as West, a role he has continued in two sequels in the series, and his selfish persistence would usually not be a characters strong point but his absence from the real world is both charming and hilarious and add in the explosive chemistry with Gale and Stuart Gordon has struck dynamite.

Despite now being almost 30 years old, the film has never been more relevant. The humour hasn’t dated and the visual schlock is ever as satisfying. Whether it’s a dismembered body carrying a talking head or a drill through the chest, there’s a lot for film makers today to learn how to make a great film.

A timeless classic that is up there with the likes of the EVIL DEAD franchise and a must own for any fan of the genre. From the opening and blatant rip off of the Psycho theme tune to the sequel introducing finale, there is not a dull moment for the running time of RE-ANIMATOR and make sure this is on your shelf not collecting dust.

In addition to the ever awesome movie, this repackage not only comes in a sexy steelbook design but also a ton of special features. A 4K unrated version of the film accompanied with the original theatrical cut, deleted/extended scenes and several documentaries and interviews with the films cast and crew on the success of the film and franchise. If you think this is madness, wait until you see ‘Bride of Re-Animator’.

“Who’s going to believe a talking head, get a job in a freak show”

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