Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Re-Animator" DVD Review (1997 Issue / 2012 Issue)


This is the fourth installment of a series of DVD reviews of motion pictures adapted from stories written by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937).



Lovecraft's short story "Herbert West-Reanimator" was written between June 1921 and July 1922 for serialization in "Home Brew"- an amateur magazine. It was Lovecraft's first mention of Miskatonic University and is also the first written story that refers to "zombies" as scientifically reanimated corpses having an cannibalistic, uncontrollable, animal-like demeanor.


In 1984, Director Stuart Gordon & writer Dennis Paoli wanted, at first, to adapt the HPL story "Dagon" for a filmed adaptation but changed their minds before production. This would be the two's first of many successful Lovecraft movie adaptations.

The movie that was made would be a hit in 1985 and the beginning of a resurgence of interest in the works of H.P. Lovecraft which continues to grow today.


The story revolves around Miskatonic University new genius student Herbert West (played by Jeffrey Combs), his friend Daniel Cain (Bruce Abbott) utilizing Wests' newly developed 're-agent' serum that brings the dead back to life. The results, shall we say, are not what West had expected.

                                               Dr. Herbwert West (L) & Daniel Cain (R).

Barbara Crampton plays Megan Halsey, Cains girlfriend and daughter of the Medical Schools Dean- Alan Halsey. The evil Dr. Carl Hill, played with great talent, is the late David Gale - Wests teacher and megalomaniac antagonist.

            Barbara Crampton as Megan Halsey.

                                                                                             Dr. Carl Hill & Dean Alan Halsey.
As West & Cain experiment with the serum, the incredible violence and Hills attempt of theft of the re-agent - results in Hill's murder by decapitation ( and resulting reanimation) by West himself. The crazy, over-the-top gore, violence and black humor only increases from that point to a crescendo of ridiculous proportions in blood, body parts & zombies!

This films mood can be summed up in a single line of dialogue from the climactic ending:        

WEST:(to the talking severed head of Dr.Hill):

"Who's going to believe a talking head? Get a job in a side show!"


Re-Animator Review 1st Issue DVD (1997) - Elite Entertainment

Elite Entertainments 1997 DVD Cover Artwork.

This is the first time that Re-Animator was issued on DVD. The print of from Elite Entertainments own laser disc print from earlier years. The picture is well rendered and presented in the 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio with Digital Mono Sound and a running time of 86 minutes.

Special Features:

Digitally remastered Unrated Edition.
Two full-running Audio Commentary Tracks (1)- Stuart Gordon , (2) - Brian Yuzna & Cast.
Over 20 minutes of additional "R-Rated" scenes; including never before seen "Dream Sequence".
Theatrical Trailer & Television Spots.

"Re-Animator" DVD Review (2012 Issue)

Image Entertainments 2012 DVD Cover artwork.

This print is a lot clearer than the 1997 issued DVD's, although they used the same source materials. The sound is greatly improved with it being remastered in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound. The aspect ratio is still 1.85:1, however it is enhanced for 16x9 televisions.

Special Features:

Audio Commentary by Director Stuart Gordon
Audio Commentary by Producer Brian Yuzna and actors Bruce Abbott, Jeffrey Combs, Barbara                                                                                                     Crampton & Robert Sampson.

Interview with Director Stuart Gordon and Producer Brian Yuzna.
Interview with Writer Dennis Paoli.
Interview with Composer Richard Band.
Music Discussion with Composer Richard Band.
Interview with Fangoria Magazine editor Tony Timpone.
Deleted & Extended Scenes.
Theatrical trailer.
Television spots.

Re-Animator IS THE horror movie that NO self respecting horror buff should be without or AT LEAST watched!

Do I recommend "Re-Animator"? Does a bear shit in the woods?


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