In 1985, Stuart Gordon brought H.P. Lovecraft’s terrifying vision of the Re-animator to life. Starring Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton, this film shocked audience, blew minds, and melted faces. This film is unrated and there is no doubt that an X rating, especially at the time, could have easily stuck due to the excessive gore and violence.
Pushing the limits of what had already been done in the horror genre was, without a doubt, the director’s main intention. I watched the anniversary DVD edition, which interviewed the actors and director, and even they were sometimes shocked at what they were doing on the set. One of the funniest interviews on the DVD was with Crampton as she walked the viewer through the final climactic scene. She was young in the movie, but her flippant attitude towards what she had to do in that scene, is not something you would want to hear your grandmother talking about. I am usually not a huge fan of watching deleted scenes and interviews after films; but, I just had to hear from these people after watching this movie.
The film takes place in a medical school and everything seems normal until a strange new student shows up. Crampton is the girlfriend of one of the students that gets involved with this intriguing stranger. Before they know it, they begin re-animating the dead flesh of a cat. This, of course, leads to experimentation on humans. This film really never slows down. From exploding eye sockets in the opening scene to the zombie cat, you think you will have seen it all. Until the final scene that is. This film builds to an explosive climax full of zombies and hilarious undead sexual innuendo. In this film, everyone gets what they want. There is the gratuitous nudity, raunchy comedy, and some of the goriest scenes you have ever seen.
This film spawned two sequels: Beyond Re-Animator and Bride of Re-animator. I have seen them, and they are just alright. This film, however, is far from alright. I can easily give it a 9/10 and confidently assure you that it is a must see for every horror fan. For me it is a must-own, because I know it is a film that I will want to return to in the future. I bought it for $9.99 on Blu-Ray from Amazon. you can too, if you click below.