Release date: October 19, 1985
Director: Stuart Gordon
Carolyn Purdy-Gordon and
Everything was going pretty good for our main character Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott), he's a very bright medical student at Miskatonic University, he has a cat named Rufus and he's dating the Dean's gorgeous daughter, Megan (Barbara Crampton). That is to say, everything was going great, until a new medical student named Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) asks about renting a room in Dan's home. West seems harmless enough and so Dan accepts his cash up front and the two students become roommates.
Things soon take a horrifying turn for Dan when he see's West, who had previously been studying re-animation under German scientist Dr. Gruber, fighting with his supposed to be dead cat. After subduing the pussy, West informs Dan that he has perfected a green-glowing serum for re-animation of new dead human brain tissue. Intrigued by this great new discovery, Dan informs the finding to Dean Halsey (Robert Sampson) who, rather than congragulate the students for their work, immediately expels them from the school and bans Dan from dating his daughter. This does not, however, put a damper on Herbert West's quest for human re-animation and the two students soon find themselves in the morgue testing it on a fresh human corpses. The tests are a success, the formula for re-animation was right; unfortunately everything else is very wrong.
Unfortunately for Dan rather than resurrecting a thankful-to-be-alive human, the formula summons the bloodthirsty zombie in us all as it did with the cat. Soon the first subject attacks and kills Dean Halsey, who is immediately brought back from the dead using a smaller dosage of the green stuff, but with the same horrific results. Megan is destroyede when she see's the current state of her late father, believing him to be insane rather than a zombie.
Soon, Miskatonic University Neurosurgery professor Carl Hill (David Gale) wises up to the operation and starts to get jealous of West's command of the thought to be impossible. Hill trys to get the green formula first from analysis of the late Dean Halsey and later from Herbert West. Fortunately for West, he manages to kill (by decapitation) Dr. Hill before he can obtain the reagent necessary for the experiment, but as you can imagine decapitation is no obstacle for the re-animation formula and West's thirst for knowledge gets the best of him. This pits a newly revived Dr. Hill against Herbert West, each trying to perfect this great/terrible discovery.
What results is a climax of mayhem and gore. The head-in-tote torso of Dr. Hill soon kidnaps Megan and when West and Dan arrive to try and stop him they may be too late as zombies await them.
Completely off-the-wall **** from start to finish, Re-Animator is the unique combination of gore flick and comedy rarely done well, in a league(IMO) with Return of the Living Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Dead Alive.
I would recommended this movie for anyone who lacks a weak stomach, it is a must see for horror fans. Best of all thought, is the fact that while obviously not given a big budget, the acting and effects in Re-Animator are well above average, especially for the time and genre.
Jeffrey Combs does a good job of stealing the show as his portrayal Dr. Herbert West and has since become something of a poor man's Bruce Campbell in terms of horror icons.
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