on September 4, 2012
One of the more frustrating blu rays that I've ever purchased.
I have had the DVD version of the film for a few years, and had gotten the DVD from my collection and was comparing the features listed on the backs of both boxes. I put the blu ray in and settled in to see what kind of improvement in picture and sound quality that the blu ray was going to have.
When the film started, I actually had to get up and make sure that I had, in fact, inserted the blu ray into my player, and not my old DVD version. I literally could not tell a difference in quality. This went on for a few minutes, and then the picture became very clear and had a slight improvement in quality...then it went back to DVD quality. I am about 45 minutes into the film and it keeps doing this. It honestly looks like an upscaled DVD in image quality.
After only 45 minutes, however, I have seen enough scratches and specks in the film to tell myself that this was not worth upgrading to blu ray from DVD. It doesn't appear that the film was restored or remastered for a blu ray release. The only thing I can really say that I noticed is that it seems to be a bit brighter than the DVD, which isn't necessarily a good thing because it makes the low budget makeup effects stand out more...you can see where the makeup stops and the real flesh begins.
The blu ray has nothing additional in the line of extras from the DVD that I already had, and the sound and picture quality are not enough of a difference to warrant an upgrade. If you have the special edition DVD that was released by Anchor Bay, this really is no improvement. If you have the Millennium Edition DVD that was put out prior to the Anchor Bay release, it has features that were not carried over to the blu ray.
on August 16, 2006
A reviewer below said that this film will only seem good to those who saw it in the 80s and that people who have never seen it shouldn't. Well I really have to disagree. I'm only 15 so I obviously never saw this film in the 80s, but a few months ago I bought this DVD for 15 bucks and it was one of the best 15 bucks I ever spent. This film is great. If you actually like real horror films then you should like this film. Also the same reviewer said that the special efx were only good when the film came out, but I thought the efx were great and better than the CGI of today. So if you're a fan of horror and haven't seen this film yet you should go out and buy it right now. The DVD is amazing by the way and pretty cheap.
on October 31, 2000
The best horror movie ever made, period. For me anyway, this has to be my personal favorite. Forget all that Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer junk. You wanna see a REAL horror movie? Rent this one. Skip it if you're squeamish, though--trust me on this.
The plot is taken (loosely) from an HP Lovecraft tale, "Herbert West, Re-animator". The taglines kinda say it all. Dan Cain is a young medical student dating the Dean's daughter, who takes in a roomer and meets up with West, brilliantly played by Jeffrey Combs. West has discovered a "reagent" that will bring the dead back to life, except the serum still needs lots of work. When the dead people wake up, they do not seem happy at all to be brought back, and in fact have the tempermant of a grizzly bear on PCP. Added to the mix is the creepy Dr. Hill (who looks like an uglier, way creepier version of James Woods), who clashes with West and also has an icky obsession with Dean Halsey's daughter. (the attraction results in the movie's most outrageous scene that I'm sure you've heard about, which gives new meaning to a slang term for oral sex that..well, you'll figure it out).
This movie is scary, gory, original, and above all, lots of fun. Just when you think it can't get any more over-the-top, it does. Combs steals the show as West, who looks like a cartoon version of a brainy young scientist with huge hornrimmed glasses. I appreciate his performance more each time I view the movie. He gets most of the best lines, such as when Dan yells at him when a hysterical Meg has found her pet cat, Rufus, in West's fridge with a broken neck, that if he found the cat that way as he claimed, West could have left a note. "A note saying what? 'Dan: cat dead. Details later'?" he dryly replies.
Stuart Gordon made other great movies later on such as From Beyond and The Pit and the Pendulum (also with Combs) but he never topped this underrated, underseen gem.
A word of caution-make sure you are renting the unrated version, as the R version has most of the gore cut out and the last 20 great minutes reduced to 5 or so. The R rated version has some scenes not in the unrated one that you might find interesting if you are a big fan (I rented it by accident) but really, the unrated version is the way to go.
One of the most outrageous horror comedies from the 1980s, Stuart Gordon's RE-ANIMATOR is certainly great fun if not great cinema. Very loosely based on a story by the highly revered horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, the film follows the exploits of Herbert West, an impudent medical student who, after being thrown out of a Swiss institution due to his unorthodox and unethical medical experiments, has enrolled at the Miskatonic University Medical School in Massachusetts, USA. After hours, West secretly continues his experimentation, which basically involves the tweaking and fine-tuning of a serum he has developed that can re-animate the dead. West engages the assistance of his roommate and fellow med student Dan Cain, much to the chagrin of Cain's pretty girlfriend Megan, and soon the two are reviving numerous cadavers in the medical school's morgue. Unfortunately, West and Cain haven't quite perfected the formula, and the re-animated dead don't seem too happy to be back in the land of the living. But when Megan, her father (a dean at the university), and the school's prestigious surgeon Dr. Carl Hill get caught up in West's shenanigans, that's when the fun really begins.
RE-ANIMATOR is horror comedy at its best. Writer/director Gordon and his cowriter Dennis Paoli are savvy enough to realize that taking an earnest approach to the preposterous premise of their story is not likely to fly with the discriminating horror audience, so they wisely milk the material for laughs instead. Playing the lead role of Herbert West is the wonderfully offbeat actor Jeffrey Combs. Combs is able to generate interesting facial expressions that are somehow simultaneously deadpan and whimsical, and when combined with his impeccable comedic timing, it is nearly impossible not to laugh at every scene he's in. (Genre fans may recognize Combs from his appearance in numerous horror films, as well as from his countless appearances in episodes of the various TV incarnations of STAR TREK.) As Dan Cain, Bruce Abbott is the perfect straight man to Combs, and together the two keep the energy level and humor factor high throughout the film. The beautiful Barbara Crampton--who would go on to greater fame performing in various TV Soaps--does a great job playing Cain's perky girlfriend, Megan, and she is especially affecting when she disrobes. And rounding out the principals is actor David Gale as Dr. Hill. When his character gets juiced with West's re-animation serum, Gale's subsequent performance is delightfully over the top.
Many critics liken the storyline of RE-ANIMATOR to that of the FRANKENSTEIN mythos, with mad scientists attempting to bring forth life from the dead. But it actually seems that the basic plot is more akin to Stephen King's 1983 novel PET SEMATARY. (The movie version of PET SEMATARY, while very faithful to the book, did not appear until 1989, four years after RE-ANIMATOR.) In both stories, an individual learns the secret to bringing folks back from the dead, but at a cost--the revived are not quite the same as they were before kicking the bucket. And despite their failures, the individuals with the power to re-animate relentlessly keep on trying to get it right. The only real difference between the two stories is that King's novel, though well written, is earnest and depressing, whereas RE-ANIMATOR uses the premise as a springboard for dark, wry humor.
The "Millennium Edition" RE-ANIMATOR DVD from the folks at Elite is well worth the money. It offers the unrated (uncut?) version of the film in anamorphic widescreen format, along with two great commentaries--one with director Gordon, one with most of the principal cast--as well as lots of other cool goodies. So many cool goodies, in fact, that it takes two discs to hold 'em all!
Yes, RE-ANIMATOR is gory and chock-full of sick gallows humor, with lots of nudity and cheesy (but cool!) special effects thrown in. And some of the scenes are so outrageously over the top that they have to be seen to be believed. But, hey, what more could a lover of horror comedy want?
Medical student "Herbert West" ( Jeffery Combs) has just returned from Switzerland after doing a horrifying experiment on a doctor has just joined the myskotonic medical university in Arkansas as he becomes the roommate of a fellow medical student "Dan" (Bruce Abbot) whom is having an affair with the dean's daughter "Meg" (Barbara Crampton). But Dan is getting involved with Herbert West's experiments which involves bringing the dead back to life with a special glowing green serum called "Re-Agent" but unfortunately it creates violent zombies that go awry.
A sick, gory, and hilarious horror Sci-fi comedy based on a HP Lovecraft story has become a cult classic since it's release in 1985! This movie was released in that year unrated in theaters with a "No one under 18 warning" but became a minor hit in theaters including critical acclaim in this cross between "E.R" and "Evil Dead". Suprisingly good acting for a low budget movie even by David Gale who wickedly plays the evil Dr. Carl Hill whom becomes the best zombie of the movie. There's alot of nasty gore in this movie like a skull and brain surgery scene with sleaze as well, it's not for the faint of heart or squeamish but a must see and must have for fans of horror, horror comedy, gore and zombie flicks.
This 2-Disc Millenium DVD has awesome picture & Sound from THX! great extras include storyboard-scene comparison, audio commentaries, interviews, trailers & TV Spots, Extended scenes from the "R" rated cut, Bios and Deleted scenes, most recommended.
Also recommended: "Evil Dead 1 & 2", "Day of the Dead", "Frankenstein ( 1931)", "Cannibal Holocaust", "City of the living Dead ( a.k.a. Gates of Hell)", "Zombie", "Demons", " Blood Diner", " The Toxic Avenger", "Basket Case", " Dead Alive", " From Dusk Till Dawn", " The Devil's Rejects", "House of 1000 Corpses", "House By The Cemetery", " Maniac ( 1980)", " Cannibal Ferox", "Wrong Turn", "Final Destination 2", "28 Days Later", " Land of the Dead", "Return of the Living Dead 3", "Caligula", " Dead & Breakfast", "Rabid Grannies", "Tromeo & Juliet", " Let Sleeping Corpses Lie", " Resident Evil", "Resident Evil Apocalypse", " The New York Ripper", "Ichi The Killer', " Men Behind The Sun", "Riki-Oh The Story of Ricky", "Undead", " Shaun of the Dead", " The Brain that wouldn't Die", " Scanners", "Videodrome", "The Fly ( 1986)", "The Brood", "Steel and Lace", " American Werewolf in London", " Dereanged", " Bride of & Beyond Re-Animator", " Tenebre", "Inferno", " The Lost Boys", "The Forsaken", " High Tension", " Fright Night", " Bio-Zombie", "Saw", " Burial Ground", "Dead Heat ( 1988)", " Terror Firmer", " The Stuff", " Cabin Fever", "The Thing ( 1982)", " It's Alive!", " Cemetery Man", " Tetsuo The Iron Man", "Candyman", "Cannibal Apocalypse", "Inferno", "Phenomena", "Suspiria", "Blood Diner", " Gore-Gore Girls", " Driller Killer", "Jeepers Creepers" and "The Beyond".
on March 8, 2006
A movie like Stuart Gordon's "Re-Animator" is enough to make you rethink everything you ever thought about horror movies. How is it that such a puerile and disgusting film can be so much fun to watch? It's probably because it doesn't even attempt to take itself seriously. What we have is a zombie flick with generous hints of dark humor thrown in for good measure: a classic combination that could easily satisfy even the most devoted fans of Dario Argento or George A. Romero. And why shouldn't it? The satire in this film is beyond plentiful, not the least of which comes in the form of obscenely over the top gore effects. At one point, a length of intestine flies out of a headless body and wraps itself around actor Jeffery Combs. It was so gross that I wanted to turn away and so funny that I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
Loosely adapted from H.P. Lovecraft's short story "Herbert West--Reanimator," this film proves that a well intentioned but implausible story idea can be turned into cinematic gold (splattered with blood and guts, of course). We meet Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott), a young medical student studying at the Miskatonic University Medical School in Arkham, Massachusetts. He's eager and determined, almost to the point of wasted effort (as seen when he tries to revive a woman terminally affected by cardiac arrest). He's also well respected by Dean Allan Halsey (Robert Sampson), whose daughter, Meg (Barbara Crampton) is in love with Cain.
His world is turned upside down when he meets Herbert West (Jeffery Combs), a student of an odd and brooding sort, always seeming detached when engaged in conversation. When asked what his field of study was, he replies simply, "Death." This doesn't sound too many alarms ... that is, until he meets Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale, introduced to the audience as he's using a laser to lobotomize a cadaver). Right away the two become bitter rivals over theories of postmortem brain function and controlling the will of the brainstem. This brings out the worst in Hill, not only igniting vindictiveness, but obsession, as well; let's just say that his fascination with Meg may be a little deeper than initially suspected.
Things continue to go downhill when West rents out a room in Cain's new home. Cain and Meg are clearly bothered by West's reclusive behavior, and it reaches a crescendo when they discover the body of Cain's beloved cat, Rufus, lying in West's mini refrigerator. They also discover a medicine bottle containing a phosphorescent green liquid, a volatile concoction later revealed to be a biological reagent. Basically, West has created a serum capable of bringing the dead back to life.
Isn't this just the kind of plot that goes perfectly with a blatantly twisted horror/comedy? I certainly think it is, and it reveals itself not a moment too soon. That's because things start to get ugly, and they only get uglier when West and Cain sneak into the morgue and attempt to re-animate a relatively fresh cadaver. What happens is a gruesome sight to behold, and while the scene plays itself as a serious moment, the bold, blood soaked sequence of events is so accentuated that you just know the director is having the time of his life behind the camera. I guess that's the correct mindset; how can excessive gore NOT be fun (and I'm not being sarcastic when I say that)? It seemed as if everyone in this film gets drenched in a sticky mess of stage blood at one point or another; I was surprised the celluloid itself wasn't tinted a bright shade of red. The manufacturers of that stuff must have gotten rich off of this one.
But the incident in the morgue is only the first in a series of ill-fated attempts, and it culminates in a scene with an entire group of re-animated corpses wreaking havoc. It plays out like an overcharged movie projector: the action quick and random, their movements chaotic and sloppy. But I could tell that this was done on purpose, because "Re-Animator" was meant to be a campy experience. The actors seemed to have had that in mind as they played their roles; only an intentionally created B movie could benefit from A level performances. You have to admit that for such a low-grade production, the acting is actually quite good. (It makes me wonder why such talent was often wasted on typecast roles in post-"Re-Animator" projects; has Jeffery Combs ever played someone who wasn't insane, evil, or disturbed?) If they had hired actors who were told to not bother with a specific performance style, to just play the scenes out normally, I think this would have been one lousy, uninspired film.
The satire doesn't end with the performances. We also have Richard Band's music, an admittedly not-so-subtle reinterpretation of Bernard Herman's "Psycho" score. If you can, hear that serious, psychologically based music in your head for just a moment. Now imagine that music being reused in a film that includes a living severed head trying to rape a bound, naked woman (if that isn't satirical enough, then I don't know what is). I've heard that Band originally wanted to include some kind of acknowledgement for Herman during the end credits, but was unable to due to budget constraints. I can certainly believe that money was an issue, considering there are virtually no special effects and very few sets (if I'm not mistaken, a lot of this was filmed in an actual hospital).
"Re-Animator" is the kind of film that doesn't revel in its goriness; it completely depends on it. It's probably not something that fans of the original Lovecraft story would appreciate, nor should they; the film version is so far removed from the source material that the title is practically the only thing establishing a connection. I think that, for maximum viewing pleasure, you just have to go with the flow--leave behind any notions of good taste or decent principles and immerse yourself in pure horror delight. Movies take on different meanings for different people, and it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that this movie isn't for everyone. There is, after all, a reason it was originally released without a rating (although an expanded R rated version does exist; all of the extra scenes from it are included on this DVD).
I think that one of the film's TV spots said it best: "This is not an advertisement for a new movie. This is a warning!" The same can be said for this review; if you cringe at the sight of blood and if you can't see the humor in driving a bone saw through the torso of a destructive zombie, then steer clear of "Re-Animator." But if you get a real kick out of this kind of filmmaking, see it the first chance you get. It's sick, it's excessive, and most importantly, it guarantees that willing participants will have a good time watching it.
on March 14, 2007
I compared the special features in this release with the one released by Elite (millennium edition). Most of them are the same. The only real notable difference is that this one has a new 70 minute documentary. I'm sure that's worth the effort of rebuying another 2-disc set. If you have the Elite version, you may want to pass on this.
on October 25, 2014
The movie is great, and it came when it was supposed to.
on March 14, 2005
First things first. You can buy this movie in Best Buy or Circuit city for $15 second this movie is defeintly a classic and worth the money. Its gory and funny, a movie you wont get bored watching. There is not really much i could say about it, I like it as it is not my favorite movie nor is it in my personal top 10 list ( top 20 , YES ) but it is good and worth the money. Im sure if you are thinking of buying it you are obviousley a fan of horror and a fan of 70's and 80's horror as I am so IMO its worth it, definitly cool for a collecton, and its a movie that you willl be able o watch more than once cause i hAVE.
on March 1, 2004
What can be said about Re-Animator that has not been said already? I remember seeing this as a kid of about 10, back in 1988 and it really put the hook in me. It's one of those rare horror films that creates a really cool atmosphere and manages to run with it.
The story, for anyone who dosen't know, or can't figure it out based on the title and the films cover, is based on the creation of a serum that brings the dead back to life, hence the films title. The problem is that once bought back to life, the dead are absolutely crazy, and this is based on the dosage of the serum that is given to them. The film follows the exploits of Herbert West and his unwitting partner in crime, Dan Cain, as they try to perfect the Re-Animation process, causing the deaths of several others along the way.
By todays standards some of the horror effects are pretty campy, but that is a really small criticism, as the peformances by the main cast (in particular Jeffery Combs as the titular Herbert West)make up for any aging in this department.
The Melinium Edition of this DVD is packed with every feature that a fan of this film could want. Interviews with key members of the production crew, which unlike many such features on other DVD's actually provide insights into the process undertaken to make and market this film. There are also two very good audio commentaries on the first disc, promotional materials (5 amusing TV spots and a theatrical trailer)a stills gallery (roughly 50 pictures)and Cast and Crew biographies and filmographies. The 16 extended scenes are interesting, but in most cases it is easy to see why certain material was either cut, or re-shot in an edited format. The deletted scene is interesting but dosen't seem to gel with the finished film.
In short, I recommend buying the Melinium Edition of this film if you were ever a fan of Re-Animator, or consider yourself to be a fan of the horror genre. You will not be dissapointed by this package. Elie Entertainment has done a wonderful job with this film and it is a classic example of how great films should be given treatment on DVD.