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Elite Entertainment Inc. originally released RE-ANIMATOR on Laserdisc as a 10th Anniversary Special Edition. Elite has taken the features of the Special Edition Laserdisc and created a $30.00 DVD release. RE-ANIMATOR is a personal favorite amongst horror films, perhaps because the film works equally as well as an ultra-black comedy. RE-ANIMATOR is based upon the works of horror master H.P. Lovecraft, but takes a slightly skewed direction. Jeffrey Combs stars as Herbert West, an unconventional medical student who creates a serum that can re-animate the dead. West’s experiments go awry, leaving a string of living corpses. Director Stuart Gordon fills the film with gore and sick humor. One of the film’s best-remembered images concerns a disembodied head having its way with a naked coed. The cast of RE-ANIMATOR includes Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale and Robert Sampson.

Elite’s Letterboxed transfer is quite good looking and it restores RE-ANIMATOR to its proper 1.85:1 theatrical proportions. The transfer, which was created from a new element struck from the film’s original negative is nicely detailed and features strong colors. Digital compression artifacts were well under control on the DVD.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is crisp and clear. Other soundtrack options include two audio commentaries. The first commentary features director Stuart Gordon. With his commentary, Gordon discusses the creative process and the difficulties he encountered creating this film. The second commentary features producer Brian Yuzna, as well as cast members Combs, Abbott, Crampton and Sampson. This commentary is a lot of fun, and makes watching the film with them seem like watching it with a group of old friends. Heck, the commentary is almost as much fun as the movie itself.

The DVD packaging doesn’t contain a chapter listing, so one must access the interactive menus to find the listing. Through the interactive menus, one gains access to the DVD’s special features which include a theatrical trailer, several television spots, twenty minutes of footage which appeared in the "R" rated cut of the film and an unseen dream sequence.

RE-ANIMATOR is a genre classic and Elite’s DVD release is about the best way a fan could possibly add it to their personal collection. Recommended.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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