Eye For Film >> Movies >> Re-Animator (1985) Blu-Ray Review
Reviewed by: David GrahamRead David Graham's film review of Re-Animator
Second Sight follows up its impressive reissues of wonderfully remastered cult classics like Gordon's From Beyond and The Basket Case Trilogy with perhaps their highest profile release yet. Past editions of Re-Animator have looked a little dour, but the improved visual element here really brings it to hitherto unimaginable life. Most favorably, the Blu-ray presentation highlights Gordon's excellent use of lighting and framing to craft a pulpy atmosphere, and the sound mix maximises the sound design to make the action even more enjoyably mental. Everything is sharper than it's ever been before and there's none of the blurriness that many genre flicks from just before Re-Animator's time have been lumbered with (Brian De Palma was particularly guilty of lensing as if from inside a jar of vaseline).
The features may be rehashed (there's actually a few minor goodies missing from the previous release, such as poster galleries) but they're keepers. Two commentaries - one from Gordon and another featuring Yuzna, Combs, Abbott, Crampton and Sampson heartily reminiscing on a wonderful shared experience - are stuffed with the sort of anecdotes that make you want to rewatch the film immediately. Knowing that the first zombie is played by Schwarzenegger's body double at the time makes its uproarious reanimation even more entertaining given the Arnie-like grunts it makes, while Crampton's very visible discomfort with the 'head' scene only makes it even more memorably skin-crawling.
The feature-length doc Re-Animator Ressurectus does a wonderful job of catching up with everyone involved, their reminiscences adding to the sense of ingenuity and fun that the film already overflows with. Separate interviews with Gordon, producer Brian Yuzna and writer Dennis Paoli go into the tortuous pre-production, where the original serialisation had been adapted into a TV series, and was eventually whittled down to the final cinematic product. There's also insight to be gleaned from interviews with composer Band and Fangoria's Tony Timpone, and further anticipation-stoking enjoyment to be had with the usual trailers and TV spots.
The integral version is the main draw here though and is worth the price of admission alone, housed on its own disc. Second Sight has also provided its usual loving steelbook packaging - although the new art by Graham Humphreys isn't quite as evocative as his usual work - making for a brilliant package that's sure to prove one of the releases of the year.Reviewed on: 12 Jun 2014