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Re-Animator – 2 Disc Special Edition Review

reanimator poster

Who is going to believe a talking head, get a job in a sideshow!”

Fans of Horror in the 1980’s had a lot of great movies coming at them especially on VHS and it was at times hard to separate the good from the awful but occasionally one came along that exceeded all expectations and has since grown to become a cult classic, Re-Animator.

Brilliant, if somewhat deranged, medical student Herbert West arrives at Miskatonic Medical School and immediately sneers at his professor’s outdated views on death. West has his own outlandish theories and has concocted a serum that will bring the dead back to life. Roping in fellow Dan Cain their shocking experiments work all too well with horrific and very messy results.

Blending horror with humour, in this case very black humour, can be a difficult task to accomplish but Re-Animator does it almost perfectly but without skimping on the blood and gore fans love. This was the days before CGI took over and the mechanical and prosthetic effects done here are top notch, especially considering the low budget the film had to work on.

re animator blu ray review

The casting works well, Jeffrey Coombes as Herbert West is excellent as the totally obsessed scientist who will literally stop at nothing to get what he wants, David Gale as Dr Hill is chilling and menacing as Wests nemesis and Barbara Crampton brings beauty to the film as the girlfriend of Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) who is drawn into Herbert Wests dark world.

Second Sight has released the Blu Ray in the UK with a special steel book edition and a fabulous new 4K restoration. As you would expect the quality is superb, colours leap out of the screen, detail is crystal clear but grain has been kept giving it a very filmic look.

This is certainly the best it has ever looked and one of the best transfers for a low budget horror movie I have seen. Audio has original Linear PCM 2.0 stereo track or a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. To be honest, there is not much difference between the two, both offer a clear sound presentation with the surround track giving a slightly more ambient feel, but both are excellent.

reanimator poster

Second Sight have gone all out with the extras which are as follows:

On Disc 1:

Audio Commentary with director Stuart Gordon

Audio commentary with producer Brian Yuzna and actors Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton and Robert Sampson.

On Disc 2:

Re-Animator – Integral Version

Re-Animator Resurectus documentary

Interview with Director Stuart Gordon and Producer Brian Yuzna

Interview with Writer Dennis Paoli

Interview and music discussion with Composer Richard Band

Interview with Fangoria Editor Tony Timpone

Extended  and Deleted Scenes

Trailer and Behind The Scenes Gallery

Firstly This Integral version is an extended cut of the film that includes many scenes that were cut out but adds more to the narrative of the movie.  When an ‘R’ rated version was being prepared for a later video release, the more extreme violence was trimmed and the deleted scenes were re-inserted to bulk up the running time. One of the most interesting additions added back in is the use of hypnosis by Dr Hill.

A great addition and in HD also. The very comprehensive documentary Re-Animator Resurectus is a 68-minute retrospective documentary giving you everything you need to know about the making of the film and again is one of the best documentaries of its type I have seen in a long time. Add on the interviews, audio commentaries which are a lot of fun to listen too and extended scenes, you have a package of extras that are top notch.

If your a fan of the film then this upgrade is a must have, with fantastic picture and great extras totally recommended.


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