Back in the Lab
by Emmett Barlow
Stuart Gordon’s Re-animator is the quintessential example of the gory spit and sawdust horror films that proved so popular throughout the 1980s. Despite its restricted budget, the genre transcending picture gave audiences exactly what they desired: a heady combo of deadpan slapstick humour and a goregasm of exploding heads, psychotic zombie cats, and bloodthirsty burn victims. Second Sight’s 4K restoration of the film gives you an extra serving of blood, guts and brains – just in case you weren’t already satisfied.
Bright young medical student, Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot), and his girlfriend Megan (Barbara Crampton), are drawn into the bizarre experiments of the brilliant but almost certainly deranged Hebert West (Jeffery Combs), whose quest to give new life to the recently deceased, results in horrific, deadly and messy consequences.
Along with previously unreleased interviews and scenes, this two disc Blu-ray edition features Re-animator Resurrectus: a documentary featuring new interviews with the cast and crew of the celebrated horror. Stuart Gordan’s original cut of the film, Re-animator the ‘Integral’ Version is also featured.
One of the many gems of Second Sight’s re-release is the audio commentary available on the unrated cut of the film. Insights and anecdotes from Brian Yuzna, Jeffery Combs, Bruce Abbot, Barbara Crampton and Robert Sampson, reveal the true extent of the film’s tight budget. Admissions reveal how burger meat was used for brains and that most of the production team, and even family members, padded out the cast.
The Film: 4/5
The Package: 4/5
FIW Rating: 4/5