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  • USA 1985
  • 86 min
  • 35mm
  • English
25th anniversary screening, hosted by director Stuart Gordon, actor Jeffrey Combs and sreenwriter Dennis Paoli



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“A frankly gory horror movie that finds a rhythm and a style that make it work in a cockeyed, offbeat sort of way... a livid, bloody, deadpan exercise in the theater of the undead” — Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

“Remains one of the most beloved films of our genre and for good reason... it has it all. Blood, sexuality, more blood, zombies, great acting, more blood, spot-on writing and directing, and oh yeah — more blood” — Uncle Creepy, DREAD CENTRAL


Director: Stuart Gordon
Screenplay: Dennis Paoli, Stuart Gordon, William J. Norris, from H.P. Lovecraft
Cast: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, Robert Sampson
Producers: Brian Yuzna
Print Source: Holland Releasing



If you were a horror-loving child of the ’80s, there’s a pretty good chance that Stuart Gordon’s RE-ANIMATOR still resides in your top ten favourite splatstick horror movies of all time. Critics loved it too, and it's still one of the best-reviewed horror flicks ever made. Loosely based on the H.P. Lovecraft story “Herbert West: Re-Animator,” it has Jeffrey Combs playing the titular mad scientist who dreams of bringing the dead back to life, with disastrous consequences. After visiting ruin upon his alma mater, Dr. West continues his pursuit of academic glory at Miskatonic University (ahem), furthering his research into re-animating the recently deceased. The problem is that he never seems to have access to fresh enough cadavers. Being a smart fellow (and thoroughly insane), Herbert devises a solution...

This is the film that made stage veterans Gordon and Combs (not to mention Barbara Crampton and David Gale, Brian Yuzna and Dennis Paoli) haunted-household names for every gore-obsessed teenybopper with a Fangoria subscription and a VHS machine. Twenty-five years later, RE-ANIMATOR has not only sustained careers but spawned a cottage-industry spanning numerous DVD re-issues, T-shirts, comic books and two sequels, with a rumored third in the works! That kind of staying power usually has a reason, and in this case, it’s the strength of the film itself. As painful as it is for us to admit, a lot of ’80s horror can only stand up to scrutiny today when bolstered by nostalgia, but RE-ANIMATOR is the rare fright flick from that era whose performances and effects retain their originality, even if the haircuts give its age away. RE-ANIMATOR was one of the first gore films to blend humour and horror, and the peculiar mix of putrid and playful is unmatched to this day. Put it this way—25 years hasn’t blunted the “head giving head” scene one bit. Sure, you could just sit at home and watch it on DVD, but Gordon, Combs and Paoli will all be on hand for this 25th anniversary screening (in gore-tastic 35mm!), so re-animate your ass off the couch, come down and show your appreciation of this classic splatfest!

—Andy Mauro

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