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

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.