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Re-Animator

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
1985
Studio: 
Anchor Bay
Genre: 
Com/Horror
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
0 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.85:1
Directed by: 
Stuart Gordon
Cast: 
Jeffery Combs
Bruce Abbott
Barbara Crampton
David Gale
Movie: 
5
Extras: 
5
Bottom Line: 
5

 Anchor Bay launches its new Anchor Bay Collection, a series of super special editions, with Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon’s wonderfully wild and twisted first foray into the world of H.P. Lovecraft.
 
For those of you who haven’t seen Re-Animator, Herbert West (Combs) is an eccentric and brilliant student/scientist who has discovered the secret to bringing the dead back to life. After he is kicked out of medical school in Switzerland, West is accepted to a prestigious New England medical college, and moves in with the school's rising star med student Dan Cain (Abbott). West let's Cain in on his secret discovery, and enlists the reluctant student to assist him with his experiments in hopes to perfect his "Re-Agent".
 
It is not long, however, before West and Cain's activities catch the attention of the sinister Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale), whose obsession with power is matched only by his obsession with Dan Cain's fiance, Megan (the lovely Barbara Crampton), and after an attempt to re-animate a corpse in the school hospital's morgue leads to an accidental death, West's new hope for mankind may just very well lead to its destruction!
 
 
Re-Animator is a fantastic film, and infused with an incredible sense of humor and style, as well as a healthy dose of over the top gore. Gordon's theatrical background is evident throughout, with wonderfully intricate sets awash in dazzling color, harkening back to the gothic horror tales of yore. It's a look befitting a throwback mad scientist tale, and Jeffrey Combs' oftentimes hilarious performance as Herbert West is a perfect marriage to both the visual aesthetic of the film and the material, itself.  Abbot’s Dan Cain makes for a delightfully “modern” foil to West’s insular genius, while the white-hot Barbara Crampton brings both glamour and a fair amount of sass to what could have been little more than a stereotypical damsel role in distress in lesser hands.  Rounding out the excellent ensemble, David Gale imbues his Dr. Carl Hill with charisma, charm, and a rapier wit, making for a truly well-rounded and sympathetic “villain” (although, in the greater scheme of things, he’s not any more or less “villainous” than West or even Cain, for that matter). This is a film that just gets everything right, making Re-Animator a classic in every sense of the word, and the perfect choice to serve as Anchor Bay’s inaugural title for their “Collection” series.
 
 
Sporting all-new packaging, including a limited edition “Re-Agent” highlighter, this two disc set boasts a 16x9 Anamorphic digital transfer of the film that looks positively amazing, with crisp, bright colors and sharp detail. The film sounds as good as it looks with a Dolby Digital DTS 5.1, Standard DTS 5.1, and mono 2.0 soundtracks. Disc one also features a pair of commentary tracks, one featuring Brian Yuzna and Actors Bruce Abbott, Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton and Robert Sampson, and the other featuring Stuart Gordon and Producer Brian Yuzna.
 
Disc two is where the bulk of the special features lay, including an all-new 80 minute documentary titled “Re-Animator Reserrectus” that features new interviews with the film’s cast and crew, and offers an in-depth look at the making of the film, from conception to audience reaction and its current cult status. The rest of the features, including deleted scenes, interviews, trailers, photo galleries and more are culled from the Elite Entertainment Millennium edition from a few years back, but their inclusion here makes this the most comprehensive Re-Animator collection available.
 

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