Re-Animator (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

Re-Animator (1985)



Critic Consensus: Perfectly mixing humor and horror, the only thing more effective than Re-Animator's gory scares are its dry, deadpan jokes.

Movie Info

Scientist Herbert West has discovered a fluid which brings living tissue back to life. After the death of his professor, West moves to a new university to continue his research. He involves a fellow student and the student's fiancée in his research by experimenting on their dead cat. Dan, fascinated by West's research, agrees to smuggle him into the hospital morgue...more
Rating: R
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: H.P. Lovecraft, Dennis Paoli, William J. Norris, Stuart Gordon
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 10, 1997
Empire Pictures


Jeffrey Combs
as Herbert West
Bruce Abbott
as Dan Cain
Barbara Crampton
as Megan Halsey
Robert Sampson
as Dean Halsey
David Gale
as Dr. Carl Hill
Lillian Avery
as Hospital Extra
Peter Kent
as Melvin the Re-Animat...
Ed Brummett
as Hospital Extra
Bruce Cohn Curtis
as Hospital Extra
Ian Patrick Williams
as Swiss Professor
Kim Deitch
as Hospital Extra
Bunny Summers
as Swiss Woman Doctor
Steve Frakes
as Hospital Extra
Al Berry
as Dr. Gruber
Derek Pendleton
as Swiss Policeman No. ...
Bob Johnnene
as Hospital Extra
Gene Scherer
as Swiss Policeman No. ...
Stephen Keinzle
as Hospital Extra
James Ellis
as Psycho Ward Guard No...
Grace Keller
as Hospital Extra
James Earl Cathay
as Psycho Ward Guard No...
Peter Marti
as Hospital Extra
Annyce Holzman
as ER Patient Corpse
Michael Muscal
as Hospital Extra
Tom Reeves
as Hospital Extra
Velvet Debois
as Slit Wrist Girl Corp...
Lawrence Lowe
as Failed Operation Cor...
Greg Robbins
as Hospital Extra
Robert Holcomb
as Motorcycle Accident ...
Jerry Thomas
as Hospital Extra
Mike Filloon
as Bullet Wound to the ...
Robert Veilleuz
as Hospital Extra
Greg Reid
as One Arm Guy Corpse
Tim White
as Hospital Extra
Jack Draheim
as Tall Skinny Guy Corp...
Robert Pitzele
as Bald OR Corpse
Ian Williams
as Swiss Professor
Velvet de bois
as Slit Wrist Girl Corp...
David Gale
as Dr. Carl Hill
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Re-Animator

Critic Reviews for Re-Animator

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (8)

Re-Animator is splatter heaven. Based on the sci-fi novel by H.P. Lovecraft, Re-Animator's gore is exceeded only by its wit.

Full Review… | September 28, 2015
Washington Post
Top Critic

It's simply the best, funniest Grand Guignol horror picture to come along in ages.

Full Review… | October 6, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Oh, those crazy doctors, when will they ever learn to stop messing around with the natural order of life and death?

Full Review… | October 6, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

It's this kind of flat-footed stuff that gives garbage a bad name.

Full Review… | June 5, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Pic has a grisly sense of humor, and sometimes is so gross and over the top the film tips over into a bizarre comedy.

Full Review… | June 5, 2007
Top Critic

A classic ground-breaking Grand Guignol horror picture.

Full Review… | October 10, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Re-Animator


Fully recommended for fans of 80's schlock-horror and over-the-top splatter effects. It doesn't quite rise above it's B-movie trappings and it admittedly becomes a bit too silly at the end, but it's well-acted, the story moves at a brisk pace, and the mix of horror and comedy is done extremely well.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer


With this, his first film, Stuart Gordon made a campy horror classic of the '80s that we could watch again and again and never get tired, offering us great effects in a gory plot full of memorable moments and with a spot-on dry humor that blends in perfectly with the rest.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Herbert West: You'll never get credit for my discovery. Who's going to believe a talking head? Get a job in a sideshow.

"Herbert West Has A Very Good Head On His Shoulders... And Another One In A Dish On His Desk"

Re-Animator definitely is deserving of the high praise it has received. It's definitely more of a cult horror film then anything else, with a lot of campy acting, loads of blood and disgusting images, and an amazing and bizarre character in Herbert West. I've been meaning to get to this film for a long time and I'm glad I finally gave it a look. It's a fun and interesting movie, and may be the closest to perfection a film has come in nailing the mad scientist character.

Herbert West, a young medical student, arrives at the same University as students Dan and Megan. Both are extremely dedicated to their work and studies. This is all interrupted though by the arrival of West, who moves into Dan's apartment. Soon, Dan and Megan realize that the experiments West is doing are not the average students experiments. He's bringing back dead animals and before long, maybe human beings as well.

I loved Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West. He's really what made this movie so great. His performance is definitely campy and bizarre, but it also is a great mad scientist performance; maybe even one of the best ever. The movie was only going to be as good as this character was presented and the direction of Stuart Gordon and the performance from Combs bring out the most in Lovecraft's interesting mad scientist.

This is obviously one that I can't recommend enough to all horror and film fans alike. It's a movie that is really rewarding because of how fun and well done it is, while appearing to be nothing more than a B-movie, cult film. Re-Animator is a classic of the horror genre and will stand as an important film in the genre. 

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Re-Animator Quotes

– Submitted by Nick S (2 years ago)
– Submitted by In Your D (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Joshua C (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Wes S (3 years ago)

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