Saturday 24 May 2014

Re-Animator - UK BD/DVD review

Stuart Gordon’s classic 80s gorefest “Re-Animator” comes to UK Blu-Ray and DVD in a special edition this June courtesy of  Second Sight films.
Loosely based on the tale by HP Lovecraft, the film takes place at Miskatonic University hospital (the setting of many a Lovecraft tale), where gifted student Herbert West (played by a young Jeffrey Coombs) claims he has invented a glowing green goo that can bring the dead back to life.
Unfortunately, when he and his room mate Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot – “Bad Dreams”) start testing it out on the bodies in the morgue, things predictably go awry and blood soaked carnage ensues.
The hospitals resident lecturer Dr Hill (David Gale) subsequently tries to steal Herbert West’s formula, only to get himself decapitated in the process. Then matters escalate further when Dr West decides to see if he can  reanimate his body and head separately. Only for the, now headless Dr Hill decides to make off with Dan’s girlfriend Meg (Barbara Crampton – “From Beyond”). Culminating in another blood soaked confrontation in the hospital morgue as Herbert and Dan attempt to rescue Meg from Dr Hill and the army of zombies he’s now commanding.
Exceptionally gory and very darkly humoured (how many other films do you know featuring a decapitated head giving “head”?) this one was initially very heavily censored for its UK theatrical and VHS release by the BBFC back in the 80s (who clearly didn’t get the humour) and was cut by varying degrees for all subsequent DVD releases right up until 2007, when the censors finally relented and passed it uncut.
This release by Second Sight is of the original uncut version and looks to be the definitive version thus far in terms of extras, containing 2 versions of the film, plus a whole stack of supplemental material.
On disc1 you get …
The unrated (uncut) version of the film,  plus 2x audio commentary tracks that accompany the main feature. The first with director Stuart Gordon and the second with producer Brian Yuzna and actors Jeffrey Combs, Robert Sampson, Barbara Crampton and Bruce Abbott
Disc 2 contains…
The Integral version of the film (Blu-Ray only), which is the uncut version with the deleted and extended scenes spliced back into it. These are also viewable separately, and run about 21mins. Also viewable separately is a deleted dream sequence of Dr West re-animating Meg (3.5 mins), which does not feature in the integral version.
There are also a number of features carried over from previous releases, such as interviews with Director Stuart Gordon and Producer Brian Yuzna (48 mins), Writer Dennis Paoli (10 mins), Composer Richard Band (15 mins) who provides an additional 16 minute “Musical discussion” feature in which he talks us through the scoring of several key scenes (16mins) and there’s an interview with Fangoria editor Tony Timpone (4.5mins).
New to this release though is a brand new documentary “Re-Animator Ressurectus”, which is a one hour retrospective documentary about the genesis of the film, featuring interviews with all the main cast and crew including Stuart Gordon (director), Brian Yuzna (producer), John Carl Beuchlar (SFX), Barbara Crampton (Megan), Bruce Abbot (Dan) and of course Jeffrey Combs (Herbert West), which is arguably worth the price of the disc alone.
Also included are 2x Theatrical trailers and 5x TV spots, which all play together as one feature (aproximately 6.5 mins in length) and there's 2x behind the scenes and production stills galleries.
If you haven’t seen Re-Animator before (and if not WHY not?), then I would strongly urge you to pick up this release by Second Sight. The Blu-ray version is simply stunning, which is available in a limited edition steelbook case and there’s also 2-disc DVD version available, which contains the exact same extras on (minus the intregal version of the film), so the choice is yours. But either way, if you want to see this, or are looking to upgrade, then you’ll be more than happy with this release.
Buy the UK BD steelbook from

Buy the UK DVD from

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