Drive-In Review: RE-ANIMATOR (Blu-Ray)

Another review of a classic horror gem. The ever gory and always hilarious…Re-Animator.

 

RE-ANIMATOR (1985)

Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, Robert Sampson

Directed by:  Stuart Gordon

Distributed by: Image Entertainment

Format: Blu-Ray

MPAA Rating: Unrated

To review this film in the traditional sense of  the word is a ridicules feat. It has been reviewed, watched,and analyzed by the best minds in the horror genre for years.

If you will indulge me though, I will simply try and reiterate the fact that this film is timeless and should be viewed by every horror fan, if not at least once, several times over.

Re-Animator is a film even the renowned Leonard Maltin gave praise to when it first came out back in 1985. I was far too young to have seen it in its very limited theatrical run and still young-ish when it was released on VHS. It took me till the age of sixteen to seek out this gorefest of a film and watch it. Re-Animator fell into the realm of great horror just like Evil Dead 2 did in my book. Gorey to the end but had tons of laughs too.

The humor the film never takes away from the terror. The film has humor that most would find sick or depraved(our type of flick right fiends?) but it never misses a beat when the gore hits the screen either.

The performances are that of legend. Jefferey Combs who play Herbert West is a sight to see. Even though the actor has said in the past “I don’t really enjoy horror films.” We enjoy his performances in them and Re-Animator was his first!  Now on to the drive-in totals.

DRIVE-IN TOTALS:

17 Dead Bodies

6 Breasts

1 80’s Style Bush

1 Dead Cat

Needle Fu

Gun Fu

Talking Head Fu

Zombie Fu

Lobotomies

Head Crushing

Cat Killing

And a Head that tries to give Head.

The film itself is watched at countless midnight screenings around the globe. Truthfully, by today’s standards, many of the effects are outdated and look hooky but god-damn are they fantastic!

There have been countless releases of Re-Animator on DVD. Deluxe editions, Millennium editions, even double disc PREMIUM editions, but we’re not interested in those are we? This is the Blu-Ray review and you want to know whether it’s worth the money to get this version of the film. Let me tell you…it is!

It is not the best Re-Animator can look though. I will say that right off the bat. The original Anchor Bay and even Elite Films releases of the film look somewhat better or on the same level as this release. The blacks looks good and the transfer is…okay. You can tell though it is a dated HD transfer used instead.

The DTS HD 5.1 surround sound track is very full and rich. Dialogue is strong and clear while the music and sound design are close to perfect. Your speakers won’t be working overtime, but they sure won’t be sitting idly by either.

All of the supplemental material has been transferred over from the Anchor Bay release and even some features are taken from the very early Elite discs(which were taken from the films original LaserDisc).

It does have Dual commentaries (one with Stuart Gordon and the other with Brian Yuzna and actors Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton and Robert Sampson), the 70-minute Re-Animator: Resurrectus documentary, and a ton of interviews: Gordon and Yuzna (nearly 50 minutes), writer Dennis Paoli (10 minutes), two pieces on composer Richard Band (14 minutes and 16 minutes, respectively) and a brisk talk with former Fangoria editor Tony Timpone (4 minutes). There are also deleted/extended scenes and a collection of trailers/TV spots.

Even if the disc transfer isn’t as brilliant as I hoped for, Re-Animator is a must own flick(even if you have it on DVD already). The film reaches back to a better time in horror when films were fun and yet scared the crap out of you. Will we see hopefully a better transfer down the line for the film? Here’s hoping. Enjoy this classic with friends and fiends alike and never forget that this is the one film where a head…gives head.

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