Re-Animator Deep Dark Thoughts
H.P. Lovecraft, what a weird world he has created through his writings. Unfortunately, Hollywood has done a horrendous job at translating the macabre mind of this genius. Other than “From Beyond” and “In the Mouth of Madness”; “Re-Animator” is the only other good Lovecraft inspire movie( “From Beyond was done by “Re-Animator” producer Brian Yuzna) Last year’s release “Necronimicon” was horrible. From my understanding of Lovecraft’s writings (which at this point is limited), the imagery of his work is not always easily translated by the limited vision known as Hollywood.
“H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator” is a true masterpiece in every area. You have a great story, excellent actors, and awesome special effects. Very rarely do you get more than one of these characteristics in horror movies today, let alone all three? I would definitely classify “Re-Animator” as a classic, otherwise, why would I put it on my all-time favorite list.
Please, if you do have anything that you can contribute to this page to make it a more fitting tribute to this awesome movie, I would greatly appreciate it. E-mail me.
Herbert West (Jeffery Combs) is a mad scientist with an extreme messiah complex focused on cheating the gods of death. He has discovered a serum which when injects in the brain of the recently deceased makes the dead stand up and walk. Unfortunately, these are no longer our friends, relatives or loved ones, but rather adrenaline-driven super killing zombies.
Realizing Herbert’s potential, his professor Dr. Hill (David Gile) has been keeping a close eye on his research. Hill is determined to do whatever it takes to get his hands on Herbert’s discovery and steal credit for his work. While forcefully trying to convince Herbert to turn over his findings, Hill’s head is viciously separated from his body. Herbert than decides that now is the time for the final test of his magical elixir and re-animates Hill’s head and body.
Dr. Hill is still able to speak, even without a voice box and lungs and continues to be psychically linked to his body, which he controls to wreak havoc and seek his revenge. There’s a scene where Barbara Crampton is forced to have sex with Dr. Hill’s head (only available in the unrated version). Talk about getting head, this is outrageous!!! This all leads to a bizarre ending with plenty of zombies and gore galore. Followed up by the equally impressive sequel “Bride of the Re-Animator”.
Based on a series of short stories by H.P. Lovecraft entitled “Herbert West–Re-Animator” in the book “Dagon and Other Macabre Tales”.
Re-Animator Frightful Facts
- “Re-Animator” is Stuart Gordon directorial debut, he went on to work on “From Beyond” and “Robot Jox”.
- First envisioned as 13 half-hour episodes to be sold into syndication or cable TV.
- Jeffery Combs and Barbara Crampton went on to star into another Lovecraft vehicle, “From Beyond”.
- The R-rated version is 8 minutes longer than the unrated version, because of added dialog. The unrated version kept all the gore, as well as, the perverse sex scene.
- Both Brian Yuzna and Stuart Gordon only recognize the unrated version as their “director’s cut”. Neither is a big fan of the “R” version….but Stuart is more forgiving of this unmerciful cut.
- Just announced!!!! Brian Yuzna will be doing a third Re-Animator film entitled “Beyond Re-Animator”. More details to follow.
- The school Herbert West attends Miskatonic University, “Go Fighting Pods”. ((Find out about Chaosium Horror Role-Playing Game Cthulhu based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft by clicking on the MU logo)).
- Re-Animator is not available on VHS (scheduled re-release on video Summer 2001) at this time, but the recent laserdisc and DVD releases by Elite Entertainment are truly amazing. Commentary from the cast, Brian and Stuart, added “R” scenes, and trailer. A must for any fan. It makes it worth owning a DVD player for this disc alone.
- To checkout “DVD Review’s” review of this great DVD and others. Click on the banner to see it:
- The Special Edition DVD of “Bride of the Re-Animator” is now available.
- Buy The Re-Animator on DVD at Amazon.com.
- Buy Bride of the Re-Animator on DVD atAmazon.com.
- Buy In the Mouth of Madness on DVD atAmazon.com.
- Buy the H.P. Lovecraft book ““Dagon and Other Macabre Tales” which has the story that the “Re-Animator” is based on at
- Amazon.com.Checkout the new House of Horrors t-shirt for sale now Checkout Rotten Cotton’s Re-Animator T-shirt.
- Buy the soundtrack to Re-Animator at Amazon.com.
Visit the H.P. Lovecraft Archive. A great page dedicated to the world of H.P. Lovecraft.
RE: Doctor Herbert West, The Re-Animator
Although Re-animator does not follow the origional short story by H.P. Lovecraft it is a wonderful film. Jeffrey Combs does a superb job, as always, as Herbert West. The whole style and mental attitude of the character is fabulous. It matches the character’s mentality in the story. The musical score creates a wonderful mood. This is one of my favorite movies of all time.
RE: Re-animator and Lovecraft on Film
I have been a fan of Lovecraft for many years and have enjoyed reading his works both pre- and post- Cthulhu mythos. Of the pre-Cthulhu stories, Herbert West, Re-Animator is among my favorites. God, how hard it was to find this in print. I had just seen the movie with Jeffrey Combs and was anxious to read the story. At the time I hadn’t heard about Dagon, where the story was re-printed.
Instead I was looking through an old bookstore where I came upon a paperback called, “Rivals of Frankenstein.” Sure enough, in the table of contents, there was “Herbert West- Re-Animator.” I found the story to be more like a synopsis for a larger book, still there was a great deal of imagery that haunts you long after putting the story down. (Also a bit of racism, in the way that Lovecraft describes a reanimated black man as ape like with a (white) child’s severed arm in its mouth).
In a way, I almost wish the producers of Re-Animator had made the film a period piece and set it in the 20’s. Scenes of Herbert West experimenting on dead soldiers in World War I (adapted and updated in Bride of Re-Animator) are very chilling, especially his experiment (that became the fate of Dr. Hill) on a decapitated soldier’s severed head. As for other works of ol’ H.P. that have made it to film, to date, I would say that “The Resurrected” is the best. Based on “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” this film captures the feel of Lovecraft.
RE: Re-Animator, a great, great flick
I was lucky enough to see Re-Animator in its initial theatrical release. My friend and I were the ONLY ones in the theater, and we thought we were in for a dud, but as anyone who’s seen this movie knows, it turned out to be one of the greatest horror movies of all time (definitely top ten, perhaps top 5?). I watched it again last night on a lark, and it still holds up.
Jeffrey Combs is great, Barbara Crampton is, well, c’mon, what a dish, David Gile was great — the whole damn film is great! I agree with the guy who runs this website that the slow-moving zombies are better — they’re somehow creepier — but the re-animated corpses in this movie, especially in the climax, were unbelievably convincing and rocking. Whew! With all the crappy horror movies out there, it’s always a pleasure to find one that’s actually a GOOD film. By the way, does anyone know where I can get a one-sheet, or at least decent poster, for this film?