Re-Animator (1985)

Unrated   |    |  Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi


Re-Animator (1985) Poster

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.


7.2/10
56,037


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  • David Gale in Re-Animator (1985)
  • Re-Animator (1985)
  • Re-Animator (1985)
  • Jeffrey Combs and Peter Kent in Re-Animator (1985)
  • Jeffrey Combs in Re-Animator (1985)
  • Re-Animator (1985)

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User Reviews


3 February 2005 | Anonymous_Maxine
8
| Tons of campy fun.
Ah, finally a horror camp classic that deserves to be called a horror camp classic. Re-Animator is one of those fun horror movies that is so over the top that it is just a lot of fun to watch, kind of like the spectacular Evil Dead films, although not quite to that same level of skillful horror/comedy mix. Ironically enough, I think it should be a testament to the quality of the rest of the movie that it is able to work so well despite prominently featuring a soundtrack that is a naked rip-off of the Psycho soundtrack. It's amazing to me that Richard Bond, the music composer, didn't think anyone would notice him plagiarizing one of the most famous movie soundtracks in cinematic history, but luckily everyone else in the production was right on the mark.

Jeffrey Combs delivers a wonderfully crazy performance as Herbert West, the scientist in the movie who is determined that he has discovered a scientific method to beat death, and is desperate to try it out on a human being rather than small animals, on whom he has had remarkable success. He is playing a completely one-dimensional character, a genius scientist whose mental capacity is also tinged with madness, but which is counterbalanced by the fact that he may very well be desperate to try something potentially immoral but which could also potentially revolutionize medicine. Maybe his intentions are good after all, but for the purposes of the film, he just wants to get his hands on some fresh corpses, which is a great premise for a horror film.

The movie operates in its own world, like the Evil Dead films did. It takes place in the horror genre but wants to combine some elements of drama as well, as we have a real scientist who is truly brilliant. He is still in medical school, I believe, but is often smarter than his often-published professors, criticizing their work for being incorrect or even plagiarized. He's very quick to make enemies, I would think his line of work might be easier the less people he had watching him, so it's unfortunate that he was so good at making people not like him. Mere days after he rents out a room from a couple of other students, they find their cat dead in his refrigerator. I hate it when new roommates do that.

There is plenty of gratuitous nudity in the film, and while I appreciate nudity as much as the next guy, I don't like it when it drives a weak film, and that is certainly not the case here. There is a graphic and highly disturbing nude scene three quarters or so through the film that made me literally cringe and turn my head, not because of gore but by the sheer disturbing idea of it, it was awful. But the thing that I loved is that that scene fits in with the rest of this movie so well. It is all about too much gore and too much blood and too much nudity, but also lots of laughs. This is a perfect example of how much fun scary movies can be.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the DVD commentary, Jeffrey Combs expressed regret over the "Who's going to believe a talking head? Get a job in a sideshow." quote, mentioning that the "talking head" part got such a laugh out of theater audiences that the "sideshow" part (his personal favorite) often went entirely unheard.


Quotes

Herbert West: I must say, Dr. Hill, I'm VERY disappointed in you. You steal the secret of life and death, and here you are trysting with a bubble-headed coed. You're not even a second-rate scientist!


Goofs

When West picks up the cat in the basement and drops it, it is a fake cat, the cat hasn't been dead long enough for rigor mortis to have set in to keep it in that position, or to cause the clunking noise the cat makes on impact with the table.


Alternate Versions

Although never classed as a video nasty the film has a very checkered history of censorship problems in the UK. The original cinema and 1986 video releases were cut by 1 minute 51 secs by the BBFC and many scenes were edited - most notably to the stabbing of a zombie with a bone-saw, a shovel decapitation, a scene of a head being squeezed, and a sequence where a woman is stripped, strapped to a trolley and forced to fend off the sexual advances of a severed head. The 1999 Tartan release lost 2 minutes 20 secs of footage and, although the saw attack and head squeezing was waived, the decapitation and sexual assault scenes remained cut. The latter had been pre-edited by the distributors using a slowdown technique and the entire second half of the assault sequence was completely missing. The 2001 Tartan re-release was slightly less cut and finally had the shovel decapitation scene restored, though 1 minute 49 secs remained cut from the female assault sequence. The film was finally passed fully uncut by the BBFC for the 2007 Anchor Bay DVD release. Since this 2007 release, all subsequent worldwide releases of the film on DVD and Blu-Ray have included the complete, uncensored version of the film.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

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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