The short version of this review is simple: if you’ve somehow not seen Re-Animator before, then hurry to order your copy of this now. It’s that good – one of those movies which you need to have seen.
If you have seen it before and have one of the many previous reissues, then you still need this new Second Sight Blu-ray edition in your collection: not only does it have a full 4K restoration of the original movie but it has what’s called the ‘integral’ version which helps to explain a lot of the backstory within the film.
Why is Re-Animator so good? Director Stuart Gordon, along with Dennis Paoli and William Norris, takes H.P. Lovecraft’s story Herbert West, Reanimator, and, if you’ll pardon the pun, gives it life (as well as more of a sense of humour, something Gordon discusses on the commentary tracks, all of which are well worth listening to). Jeffrey Combs’ performance as the titular re-animator is one of his best, with strong support from Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton and David Gale – and, perhaps more importantly, from the special effects team, whose use of a book of forensic pathology for some of the creations gives them an edge lacking in too many movies. Horror fans should be glad that the proposed TV version never got off the ground!
As well as the two versions of the movie, there’s also a documentary, Re-Animator Resurrectus which does cover some of the same ground as the commentaries – there are a few things which don’t overlap, but don’t go straight from one to the other!
Verdict: A classic piece of gore from 1985 gets a gorgeous Blu-ray treatment. 9/10