- 1 hr 26 min
In the 1985 horror-comedy film Re-Animator, a young medical student named Dan Cain, portrayed by Bruce Abbott, gets entangled in the supernatural experiments of his classmate and friend Herbert West, played by Jeffrey Combs. West is a peculiarly obsessed individual who has developed a serum that can bring the dead back to life. The opening scene of Re-Animator takes place in Switzerland, where West is studying medicine. He has a patient who has recently passed away, and West persuades his lab partner to help him test out his serum on the corpse. After an intense mix of crazy blue liquid is injected into the body, the undead creature wakes up stronger and hungrier than ever before. The experiment is abruptly interrupted, and West has to flee the country to escape any potential consequences. Once back in the States, West sets up shop in the basement of Cain's apartment. The duo creates a budding partnership, with Cain initially willing to perform tasks for West out of curiosity until their friendship takes a sinister turn. West becomes increasingly reckless with his experiments, leading to disastrous consequences. Each experiment gets more daring and progressively more dangerous, with West continuously pushing the boundaries. Cain and West's superior, Dr. Hill, portrayed by David Gale, become their biggest adversary. Hill becomes suspicious of West's procedures and attempts to take credit for his success to further his career in the medical community. Re-Animator is full of gory and gruesome scenes masterfully brought to life by the makeup and special effects team. Despite the film's horror elements, it has a distinctive sense of humor that elevates the grim tale of science gone wrong. The leading actors, Combs, and Abbott, work well together, bringing a unique chemistry to their peculiar relationship. Combs' portrayal of West is simply outstanding, with his performance setting the tone for the entire film. One of the most memorable scenes from the movie is when West experiments on Dr. Hill's severed head, leading to a very comical, yet horrifying outcome. The film has several other noteworthy scenes, including a climactic finale that pits the friends against the military, who have become aware of their unholy experiments. The soundtrack of Re-Animator compliments the film's horror and humor elements perfectly. The opening score, composed by Richard Band, sets up an eerie, otherworldly feel, while the movie's more action-packed scenes feature a thrashing guitar riff. The special effects are brilliantly done, with much of the film's gore being accomplished via practical rather than CGI effects. Re-Animator was directed by Stuart Gordon, who went on later to direct two sequels to the hit horror film. He had a vast history as a theater and stage director, with Re-Animator being his first feature film. Though the film was not an instant box office success, it has since gone on to become a cult classic, continually referenced in popular culture as a landmark horror-comedy film. In conclusion, Re-Animator from 1985 is a remarkable horror film that combines humor, gruesomeness, and excitement, with unforgettable performances by its leads. Fans of the horror genre will be delighted with its bloody and absurd experiments, while those who enjoy the comedic aspect of horror will appreciate the movie's darkly comic touch. It is a must-watch for those who love old-school horror films, as it still holds up today due to the great mix of horrific elements and comedy.