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Arguably the best horror film of the 1980s, Re-Animator revives the gleeful deviance and perverse camp of 1950s monster movies and drenches them in 1980s gore. Based on serialized short stories by H.P. Lovecraft, Stuart Gordon's minor masterpiece reinvents the Frankenstein concept as tighly wound med student Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) sets out to prove that brain death can be conquered with his florescent green serum. Not for the quesy, Re-Animator is gleefully gruesome, and yet always as inventive in its storytelling. Pitch-perfect performances all around from Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale and Robert Sampson. Elite Entertainment's Special Widescreen Edition presents the 86-minute unrated version of the film considered by Gordon and fans the superior cut. The film was also released in an R-rated version that ran, unusually, nine minutes longer. Elite also recycles the pleasing assortment of features found on their 1995 Laserdisc release: a solid, clear, digitally remastered 1.85:1 transfer; the original digital mono soundtrack; a dry but not uninteresting commentary by Gordon; a cast-party-like group commentary by Yuzna, Combs, Crampton, Abbott and Sampson; 20 minutes of deleted scenes, including the R-rated footage and a "never-before-seen" dream sequence; and trailers and TV spots. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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