Blu-ray Movie Review – Re-Animator (1985)

Directed by Stuart Gordon
Courtesy of Arrow Video & MVD Distribution
Original Year of Release: 1985
Blu-ray Release Date: August 8, 2017

When 43,000+ people vote and a horror film earns 7.1 out of 10 stars on, you know it is definitely a title you need to check out. Such is the case with RE-ANIMATOR, a horror-comedy-gorefest, courtesy of genre icon Stuart Gordon. If you are unfamiliar with Gordon’s films, you need to acquaint yourself with them immediately; the man is a visionary genius, particularly when it comes to interpretations of H.P. Lovecraft’s work. RE-ANIMATOR is one of my favorite films of all time, and it’s no surprise that Gordon is also responsible for several of my other Top Favorites, including DAGON, ROBOT JOX, and FROM BEYOND.

The fine folks at Arrow and MVD got together and released an authoritative edition of RE-ANIMATOR, and it is nothing short of glorious. Horror fans will want to add this to their libraries quickly, as I predict this will sell out soon. Chocked full of amazing content, and featuring new, original artwork, this Arrow/MVD release will be the Must Have of the fall season!

If you are not familiar with RE-ANIMATOR, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Arrow Video & MVD Distribution:

One of the most wildly popular horror movies of all-time, Stuart Gordon’s enduring splatter-comedy classic Re-Animator returns to Blu-ray in a stunning restoration packed with special features!

When medical student Dean Cain advertises for a roommate, he soon finds one in the form of Dr. Herbert West. Initially a little eccentric, it soon becomes clear that West entertains some seriously outlandish theories specifically, the possibility of re-animating the dead. It’s not long before Dean finds himself under West’s influence, and embroiled in a serious of ghoulish experiments which threaten to go wildly out of control…

Based on H.P. Lovecraft s classic terror tale “Herbert West, Re-animator” and featuring a standout performance from Jeffrey Combs as the deliciously deranged West, Re-Animator remains the ground-zero of 80s splatter mayhem and one of the genre’s finest hours.

RE-ANIMATOR looks excellent onscreen, thanks to a superb HD transfer. Blu-ray is definitely the way to experience this masterpiece, as you get to relish in every gory detail, right down to the most minute blood-splatter. The sound is also excellent; you’ll hear every squishy sound effect in 5.1 stereo…and if you’re like me, you’ll love every minute of it.

As for the acting, Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, and David Gale are excellent in their roles, and nobody could have played them better. I had the pleasure of meeting Combs and director Stuart Gordon a couple of years ago at Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas, and they were an absolute blast. I can see why Gordon’s films are so successful: because he surrounds himself with talent like Combs.

The special effects in RE-ANIMATOR are gut-wrenching and so much fun to watch. Needless to say, they are very good. Gorehounds will revel in the amount of carnage unleashed, but those looking for comedic elements will be pleased as well. I cannot go into detail as to why, because it will spoil the film. But trust me: you need to watch this one to appreciate it.

RE-ANIMATOR is an excellent film, and I highly recommend it. Arrow and MVD give this film the full Grade A treatment, and the result is an edition worthy of a king. Snatch up your copy soon, because as I stated earlier, I’ll bet these go quickly. It is available now.

The special edition contents include:

• 4K restorations of the Unrated and Integral versions of the film
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Original Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 Audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Digipak packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Justin Erickson
• Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by writer Michael Gingold
• Re-Animator the original 1991 comic book adaptation, reprinted in its entirety
• Unrated version [86 mins]
• Audio commentary with director Stuart Gordon
• Audio commentary with producer Brian Yuzna, actors Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Bruce Abbott, and Robert Sampson
• Re-Animator Resurrectus documentary on the making of the film, featuring extensive interviews with cast and crew
• 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 former Fangoria editor Tony Timpone
• Barbara Crampton In Conversation the Re-Animator star sits down with journalist Alan Jones for this career-spanning discussion
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Trailer & TV Spots
• Integral version [105 mins]
• A Guide to Lovecraftian Cinema brand new featurette looking at the many various cinematic incarnations of writer H.P. Lovecraft s work


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