Re-Animator (2007) – By Brian Morton

 I have to admit, back in 1985, it wasn’t me, but my brother who wanted to head to the theatre to see some ‘unrated’ movie called Re-Animator. I wasn’t sure, but had nothing to do, so I tagged along. Well, let me just say, Re-Animator was probably the movie that opened my eyes to the world of horror. Here was something that was so original, so over the top, that you couldn’t help but love it! In a world of Friday The 13th’s and it’s innumerable rip-offs, here was an island of originality that made you want to search out some of the great horror movies that you knew were out there. In fact, I credit Re-Animator almost above all others for steering me to low budget independent horror movies, it was just that good. Well, for anyone who never got the chance to see the movie in theatres, here’s a great way to see it on DVD, the Anchor Bay Collection takes this great movie, and not only enhances the picture to accommodate today’s wider screen TVs, but adds a new documentary, Re-Animator Resurrectus, that goes deeper behind the scenes of this great movie than I’ve ever been before.

In case you haven’t seen this classic horror movie, here’s the basic story: Herbert West has invented a serum that will reanimate the dead. But, he needs the support of the medical community and a place to experiment. So, when young Mr. West arrives at Miskatonic University, strange things begin to happen. Now, the movie still holds up after all these years, and it’s just as scary and funny as ever. The real gem of this package is Re-Animator Resurrectus, a 70-minute documentary about the making of this movie. I had no idea that Re-Animator was originally intended to be a mini-series for PBS, and when they turned it down, it sort of stood still until Brian Yuzna, who was interested in investing in a horror movie came along. This doc really takes you backstage, with interviews with Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton and Jeffrey Combs, among others. Since Re-Animator is one of those movies that I’ve watched and re-watched over the years, I thought I knew about everything there was to know about it, but there’s really some great stuff here, including the fact that Jeffrey Combs really thought that his part was a great supporting role, it was believed all through filming that the relationship between Bruce Abbott’s Dan and Barbara Crampton’s Meg was the centerpiece of the film, but after editing, it was obvious that it was Combs and David Gale who really stole the movie! This doc covers everything from the beginnings of the production through the music and how it works within the film…in case you don’t get it, it’s really great!

This edition of Re-Animator is really worth the price, any fan of this movie won’t be disappointed with this. You can check it out for yourself by heading over to Anchor Bay, and believe me, it’s worth the price! I’m giving the Anchor Bay Collection: H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator four out of four cigars, because it doesn’t get any better than this movie, and it’ll be some hard work to beat the great extras on this DVD! So, until next time, when the editor will re-animate me and point me at another movie, remember that the best movies are bad movies.