Re-Animator

1985

Re-Animator

Critics Consensus

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

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 59

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 37,121
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Re-Animator Photos

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...

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Cast

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
Ed Brummett
as Hospital Extra
Peter Kent
as Melvin the Re-Animated
Bruce Cohn Curtis
as Hospital Extra
Ian Patrick Williams
as Swiss Professor
Kim Deitch
as Hospital Extra
Steve Frakes
as Hospital Extra
Bunny Summers
as Swiss Woman Doctor
Al Berry
as Dr. Gruber
Bob Johnnene
as Hospital Extra
Derek Pendleton
as Swiss Policeman No. 1
Gene Scherer
as Swiss Policeman No. 2
Stephen Keinzle
as Hospital Extra
James Ellis
as Psycho Ward Guard No. 1
Grace Keller
as Hospital Extra
James Earl Cathay
as Psycho Ward Guard No. 2
Peter Marti
as Hospital Extra
Annyce Holzman
as ER Patient Corpse
Michael Muscal
as Hospital Extra
Velvet Debois
as Slit Wrist Girl Corpse
Tom Reeves
as Hospital Extra
Lawrence Lowe
as Failed Operation Corpse
Greg Robbins
as Hospital Extra
Jerry Thomas
as Hospital Extra
Robert Holcomb
as Motorcycle Accident Corpse
Mike Filloon
as Bullet Wound to the Face Corpse
Robert Veilleuz
as Hospital Extra
Greg Reid
as One Arm Guy Corpse
Jack Draheim
as Tall Skinny Guy Corpse
Robert Pitzele
as Bald OR Corpse
Ian Williams
as Swiss Professor
Velvet de bois
as Slit Wrist Girl Corpse
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News & Interviews for Re-Animator

Critic Reviews for Re-Animator

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Re-Animator

  • Jan 29, 2017
    Throughout the history of film one of the characters that continues to pop up is the mad scientist attempting to push his studies to the point of lunacy. This is a person who has become so obsessed with their primary objective that they throw any sense of moral code or obligation right out the window. The first and most famous example is Dr. Frankenstein in the numerous incarnations that have been brought to life over the decades, be it Colin Clive or Peter Cushing. Science is the only thing of importance to these men. With Re-Animator we get another take on the Frankenstein mentality, though it is more tongue in cheek and finds some humor in the situation. Based on the H.P. Lovecraft story, the film opens with what will be our resident mad scientist Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) encountering the possible consequences of his experiments when his mentor dies at the European school he is attending. Having "learned all he can" there he arrives at an American university and rooms with golden boy med student Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott). Dan is the typical over zealous student that's dating the dean's daughter Megan (Barbara Crampton) and being a general BMOC (big man on campus). Herbert uses the relationship between Dan and Megan as leverage in getting Dan to assist him in his experiments. His goal: to bring people back from brain death. Eventually the pair are discredited by the administration and they are forced to go about their work in secret. Of course these plans go awry as issues spring up with how Herbert's "agent" works. Director Stuart Gordon delivers a film that, even though it could have dated itself, manages to break that 1980's mold and become something more than a late night cable TV film lost to obscurity. He manages to walk the thin line between a horror film and a comedy, balancing the two and delivering a film that is stronger for it. It is a gorefest, but there is enough humor to take the edge off, but it doesn't end up a parody of itself. For being a lower budget film the performances are well done with the stand outs being Combs and David Gale as Dr. Carl Hill, an under handed professor that becomes a failed experiment with consequences. The film is visually striking with its effects and even though the budget was low, still managed to push the envelope and deliver something new. Gordon shoots the film not with the effects as star, but as a valued character actor. There are scenes that remain legendary in Re-Animator even if they are old school camera trickery. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Re-Animator is the Frankenstein of the 1980's. The film is built as a loving parody of the Mary Shelly classic. It comes from an era where films are perpetually stuck because of their reliance on cliches of the era, but Re-Animator stands out and survives beyond those neon bounds. It captures you with a well worn idea that is garnished with more modern sensibilities. It's horror that gives you a break instead of slamming you in the head with murder-death-kill every ten minutes just for the sake of it. Re-Animator is a great overlapping genre piece that has the ability to be enjoyed more than once. The film never gets old and always delivers a great experience for the audience.
    Chris G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2015
    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 H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 04, 2015
    Let it be known, on the record, that I gave this film a better score than I did Age of Ultron. Though, I will say, that given what Ultron was trying to do and what this film was trying to do, Re-Animator fulfilled its goal with greater efficiency than the Age of Ultron did. It's not that this film was better, though I think it actually was, but those two films aren't even comparable since both are doing vastly different things with its narrative and presentation. With that said, as far I remember, this is actually the second time I've seen Re-Animator. I have the DVD and I watched it ages ago, nearing a decade now, probably about as long as I've been doing these reviews, which date back to 2006 and I could've sworn that I reviewed this film. Like to the point where I was like 'ah, I have a day off from reviews' because I was so sure I had reviewed this film. It is what it is and I honestly was looking forward to doing this review. This isn't quite on the level of Evil Dead 2, but it's an incredibly entertaining and purposely campy B-movie. This isn't one of those not particularly good 80s horror movie that gets by on its campy charm. This film was designed as such and it really hit the mark. It's one of those types of movies that starts off simply enough, but it goes completely nuts by the way. Not that that would necessarily make the film good, but it does in this case. Like I don't even know where to begin. From the campy and hammy acting of Jeffrey Combs, playing the mad scientist role, literally, down to perfection. This guy is so great in the role. David Gale, as the antagonist of the film, is also really entertaining in the role. He gets the chance to do a lot of real crazy things, particularly near the end It's not that Bruce Abott and Barbara Crampton are bad, they're not, in the slightest, they ham it up as much as anyone else. It's just that Jeffrey Combs and David Gale pretty much steal the show here. Much like a lot of 80s horror films, the gore here is pretty grotesque. I don't know how to explain it, but there's something infinitely more cool and interesting about gory horror films from the 80s, a lot of it being practical and ridiculously over-the-top certainly helped, than more modern films. And I'm not trying to say that one decade is better than the other, but the gore was so much more effective back in the day. The only modern movie, that I can recall, with its incredible practical make-up effects, that reminds me of the 80s would have to be Cabin Fever: Patient Zero. Yes, one of the sequels to Cabin Fever. Watch that film and tell me that the make-up effects aren't some of the best in any modern horror film. Anyways, the gore is excellent in this film as well, it pretty much goes nuts by the end. It's also a film with a pretty wickedly dark sense of humor, it's mixed incredibly well with the horror and it never takes away from it. This film is a blast honestly. I had so much fun watching this movie. If you're a horror nerd and you haven't seen this film yet, then I don't know what to tell you. Get the DVD or watch it on Netflix. It's a really damn good horror movie and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Oct 21, 2013
    Its got a good enough balance of outright camp and general insanity for me to say that I enjoyed it . . . oh and the always welcome presence of Jeffrey Combs only helps.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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