Fresh on Arrow Video: ‘RE-ANIMATOR’ brings horror gem back to life

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Preston Barta // Features Editor

RE-ANIMATOR (1985)

Not rated, 86 minutes.
Director: Stuart Gordon
Cast: Jeffrey CombsBruce AbbottBarbara CramptonDavid Gale and Robert Sampson

Movie:

HERBERT WEST HAS A GOOD HEAD ON HIS SHOULDERS… AND ANOTHER ONE ON HIS DESK.

Here’s a movie I hadn’t previously seen, but injected me with energy I couldn’t shake. It’s an Arrow Video release of a 1985 B-horror movie, starring Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott and Barbara Campton, about a scientist who develops the ability to bring things back from the dead. But like THE LAZARUS EFFECT, people and animals don’t come back as their sweet selves. It becomes a more gruesome reality.

RE-ANIMATOR is completely absurd in the best possible way. It’s as if some celebrated filmmaker like Paul Thomas Anderson (THERE WILL BE BLOOD) directed a B-horror movie. I mean, the main villain (a killer-good David Gale) of the film is a person who comes back from the dead and carries around his own decapitated head. The film shocks you to your core and is an absolute blast if you can handle blood and guts.

[Grade: A+]

Extras:

The Arrow Video release (available through arrowvideo.com) includes a gorgeous collector’s case that comes with reversible cover art, a 4K restoration of the unrated version of the film, new and old audio commentaries, a highly entertaining feature-length documentary about the making of the film, deleted and extended scenes, interviews and behind the scenes.

[Grade: A]

All Special Features:

  • Presented from a 4K restoration of the Unrated version
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Mono, Stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD MA Surround Audio Options
  • Isolated Score
  • Audio commentary with director Stuart Gordon and actors Graham Skipper and Jesse Merlin of Re-Animator: The Musical
  • Audio commentary with Stuart Gordon
  • Audio commentary with producer Brian Yuzna, actors Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Bruce Abbott and Robert Sampson
  • Re-Animator: Resurrectus – feature-length documentary on the making of the film, featuring extensive interviews with cast and crew
  • Interviews with director Stuart Gordon and producer Brian Yuzna, writer Dennis Paoli, composer Richard Band and former Fangoria editor Tony Timpone
  • Music discussion with composer Richard Band
  • Barbara Crampton in Conversation – the Re-Animator star sits down with journalist Alan Jones for this career-spanning 2015 interview
  • The Catastrophe of SuccessStuart Gordon and The Organic Theater – director Stuart Gordon discusses his early theater roots and his continued commitment to the stage
  • Theater of Blood – Re-Animator: The Musical lyricist Mark Nutter on adapting the cult classic for musical theatre
  • Extended Scenes
  • Deleted Scene
  • Trailer & TV Spots
  • Still Gallery
  • Screenplay (BD-ROM Content)
  • Reversible sleeve with newly commissioned artwork by Justin Erickson

About author

Preston Barta

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.