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Title: Re-Animator
Directed by: Stuart Gordon
Written by: Dennis Paoli; William J. Norris; Stuart Gordon
Produced by: Bruce William Curtis; Michael Avery; Brian Yuzna; Bob Greenberg; Charles Donald Storey
Music by: Richard Band
Cinematography: Mac Ahlberg; Robert Ebinger
Edited by: Lee Percy
Distributed by: Empire Pictures
Released: October 18th, 1985
Rating: R
Running time: 95 min. (R-rated vesion)
86 min. (Edited version)
Country: USA
Language: English
Budget: $900,000 [1][2]
Gross: $2,023,414 (US) [2]
Next: Bride of Re-Animator (1990)

Re-Animator is an American horror film of the science fiction and zombie horror subgenres. It was directed by Stuart Gordon for Empire Pictures and based on the short story Herbert West, Re-Animator by H. P. Lovecraft. The movie spawned two direct-to-video sequels as well as several comic book tie-in titles.

Plot[edit | edit source]

At University of Zurich Institute of Medicine in Switzerland, Herbert West brings his dead professor, Dr. Hans Gruber, back to life. There are horrific side-effects, however; as West explains, the dosage was too large. When accused of killing Gruber, West counters: "I gave him life!"

West arrives at Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts in order to further his studies. He rents a room from medical student Dan Cain and converts the building's basement into his own personal laboratory. There is an instant animosity between West and faculty member Dr. Carl Hill. West declares that Hill stole the theory of brain death from Dr. Gruber, West's mentor. Dan discovers that West has re-animated his dead cat, Rufus, with a glowing reagent. West recruits Dan as his partner in research to defeat death. Dan's fiancee Megan dislikes West, especially after discovering Rufus re-animated in a state of dismemberment.

Hill manages to turn Dr. Halsey, the school's dean and Megan's father, against both West and Dan. Barred from the school, the two sneak into the morgue to test the reagent on a human subject in an attempt to salvage their medical careers. The revived corpse goes on a rampage, attacking them. Halsey stumbles upon the scene and, despite attempts by both West and Dan to save him, is killed by the corpse. Armed with a bone saw, West dispatches the reanimated cadaver. Unfazed by the violence and excited at the prospect of working with a freshly dead specimen, West injects Halsey with the reagent. Halsey returns to life, but in a zombie-like state.

Hill discovers West's work and gains guardianship over Halsey, whom he puts in a padded cell adjacent to his office. Dan and Megan break into Hill's office where they find evidence that Hill is obsessed with Megan and has lobotomized her father. Hill has gone to confront West in his basement lab and threatens to blackmail him to continue his research so that Hill can take credit for West's reagent. While Hill is distracted, West decapitates Hill with a shovel. Overcome with curiosity, West re-animates both Hill's head and body. While West is questioning Hill's head and taking notes, Hill's body knocks him unconscious. The body carries the head and steals West's reagent, returning to Hill's office. Exercising mind control over Halsey, Hill sends him out to kidnap Megan from Dan.

West and Dan track Halsey to the morgue, where they find Hill's body holding his head in a compromising position over a restrained Megan. West distracts Hill while Dan frees Megan. Hill reveals that he has re-animated and lobotomized several corpses from the morgue to do his bidding. However, Megan manages to get through to her father, who fights off the other corpses long enough for Dan and Megan to escape. In the ensuing chaos, Halsey is torn to pieces by the corpses after he destroys Hill's head and West injects Hill's body with what he believes is a lethal overdose of the reagent which began to destroy Hill's body. Hill's body mutates horribly and attacks West, who screams out to Dan to save his work as he continues fighting.

Dan retrieves the satchel containing West's reagent. As Dan and Megan run from the morgue, one of the re-animated corpses attacks and kills Megan. Dan takes her to the hospital emergency room and tries in vain to revive her. In despair, he injects her with reagent. Just as the scene fades to black, Megan screams, implying that she has been re-animated.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main cast[edit | edit source]

Co-Stars[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Copyright holder: © 1985, Re-Animator Productions, Inc. / PA-293-304. [1]
  • During production, Mac Ahlberg replaced Robert Ebinger as director of photography.
  • This movie was originally banned in Sweden.
  • Re-Animator grossed $543,728 in the United States over it's opening weekend and was screened in 129 theaters. [1]
  • Re-Animator closed out of theaters on November 7th, 1985. It was in release for a total of twenty-one days (three weeks). [2]
  • This is the first sci-fi/horror film work for assistant director Tim Minear.
  • This is the first, and to date, only known acting work for Greg Reid.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This is the first feature film for director Stuart Gordon. Previously, Gordon directed the 1979 television movie Bleacher Bums, which was based on a play by Dennis Franz and Joe Mantegna.

Taglines[edit | edit source]

  • H.P. Lovecraft's classic tale of horror
  • Herbert West Has A Very Good Head On His Shoulders... And Another One In A Dish On His Desk.
  • It will scare you to pieces.
  • Death Is Just The Beginning...

The year in film[edit | edit source]

Other films that were released in 1985 include:

See also[edit | edit source]

Re-Animator pages[edit | edit source]

Zombie pages[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Keywords[edit | edit source]

Arkham; Doctor; Essex County; Eye injuries; Mace; Medical center; Miskatonic University; Nurse; Police officer; Reanimates; Security guard; Swiss policeman; Switzerland; University of Zurich; Zurich

References[edit | edit source]

Re-Animator logo.jpg
Film Series
This article relates to the films within the Re-Animator franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Re-Animator films category.
Lovecraft logo.jpg
This article relates to the works of H. P. Lovecraft.
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