Sunday, 29 September 2013

Film Review: RE-ANIMATOR (1985)

Re-Animator - poster Director: Stuart Gordon
Writers: H.P. Lovecraft (story “Herbert West, Re-Animator”), Dennis Paoli, William Norris, Stuart Gordon (screenplay)
Running time: 95 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: Horror/Sci-Fi
USA Release date: 18th October 1985

Watched on Terrestrial PVR Sunday 29th September 2013.


This is one of those films that, on release was talked about a lot in schoolyards up and down the country. One that gained more than its fair share of notoriety, mainly due to the exaggeration of the youth. Of course it couldn’t possibly be that gory; could it? Well I finally found out today, and yes, it is all that gory folks! Very much a B-Movie, but one with a certain something that I’m struggling to define right now. The acting is not bad, but equally not that good; the effects are a tad dated, but still do the job surprisingly well; I can only conclude that it must be the script. It’s one of those that creeps up on you and before you know it, you’re enjoying this crazy tale! But to re-cap for a moment; the story surrounds a new student at a medical school; Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs). He has some theories about death that are contrary to the head of research, Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale). Add to the mix a young personable student, Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott), his girlfriend, the beautiful Megan Halsey (Barbara Crampton) and her father, Dean Halsey (Robert Sampson); and you’ve got all the ingredients for an 80’s horror. When West begins to experiment and drags Dan into it, you know it’s going to end up messy.

Re-Animator - 3 A film very much in the style of the 1930’s classic horrors, it never pauses for a laugh and never misses a beat. I admire that it’s all taken so seriously and that the actors play it so straight. This gives it a bit of an edge over more modern takes on the genre (for me). Although none of the performances could be called great, I thought both Jeffrey Combs and David Gale come out on top. I really liked the musical score by Richard Band, almost a homage to the great horrors of the past. Over all, an intriguing film that I ended up enjoying despite a totally ludicrous story line; definitely worth a look for any horror fan. Be warned though, it’s definitely NOT for the squeamish.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 7.2/10.

IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (based on 26,184 votes when this review was written).

MetaScore: No Data: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by at the time of going to press).

Re-Animator - 5 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 95/100: (based on 42 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 61/100 “Want to See”: (based on 35,051 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

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Re-Animator - 1 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site:

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