I'm fairly sure I don't really need to sell anybody on Re-Animator. If you're into horror films at all, you've most likely seen it, and if not, you've at least heard of it and quite possibly plan on watching it. If that's the case, what are you waiting for? Get to it.
It has this:
Gordon was then introduced to first time producer Brian Yuzna, who had some personal money to spend at the time, as well as the means to raise more funds. More importantly, Yuzna was a fan of horror films and was an enthusiastic producer. Dropping the idea to make it an anthology series, they focused on making a feature length movie instead. The final screenplay is credited to Dennis Paoli, William J. Norris (who was involved more with the TV series proposal), and Stuart Gordon himself, and it makes many deviations from the source story, such as modernizing the setting and adding the characters of Dan, Megan, and Dr. Hill.
The film is energetically in-your-face and over the top, bringing black, gallows humor in combination with the graphic special effects. The entire scene with Herbert and Dan chasing Rufus the cat in the basement is both tension filled and a laugh riot. It's perfectly punctuated by Herbert pulling a "gotcha" on Dan after he hurls the cat at the wall. The balance of horror and humor in the Re-Animator is comparable to that of other horror/comedies such as House (1986), Evil Dead 2 (1987) and Peter Jackson's Bad Taste (1987) and Dead Alive (1992).
Roger Ebert and Pauline Kael. This feat is even more impressive as the film wasn't submitted to the MPAA and was released 'unrated,' which severely limited how and where the film could be marketed. The film would later find new life (so to speak) on the home video market where it would cultivate its cult following.
Brian Yuzna would produce Stuart Gordon's next two movies and would start directing films himself with the amazing special effects spectacle Society (1989). He would also direct both Re-Animator sequels, the enthusiastically weird Bride of Re-Animator (1989) and the not so good Beyond Re-Animator (2003). Brian Yuzna would reteam with Stuart Gordon in 2001, producing his adaptation of Lovecraft's Dagon.
|"Mr. West, I suggest you get yourself a pen!"|
David Gale plays a great villain and has a classic screen presence about him, a more gothic look, like he belongs in a Frankenstein film or something, which might actually be why his casting is so apt. A subplot was cut out of the finished film depicting Dr. Hill as having hypnotic powers, unnecessarily explaining his control over the zombies later in the film. David Gale would reprise his role as Dr. Hill in the sequel, Bride of Re-Animator, apparently in spite of his character's condition at the end of the first film. His promising film career would be cut short by his untimely death in 1991.
Mausoleum) and I'd like to think it was his choice to hang up that big Talking Heads poster on the wall behind Dan's bed during all the love making scenes.
The iconic theme song by Richard Band (Charlie Band's brother) borrows motifs from Bernard Herrmann's score for Psycho (1960), which has caused him to be accused of being a hack and/or a plagiarist (by some). I think by borrowing from a film score as famous as Psycho it gives the music a playfulness that alerts the audience that, yes, you are watching a horror film, and yes it's okay to laugh and have fun. The opening animated credits add to this feeling, as if you are getting ready to watch some sort of demented cartoon.
Ahlberg is quoted as saying that David Bowie has told him that Re-Animator is his favorite movie.
If that's not an endorsement, I don't know what is.