Wednesday, May 9, 2007

H.P. LOVECRAFT’S RE-ANIMATOR

The first release from the new "Anchor Bay Collection" of horror classics is Stuart Gordon’s (DAGON, FROM BEYOND) amazing debut film, H.P. LOVECRAFT’S RE-ANIMATOR (1985).

For the two of you who may not have seen it, the film chronicles the efforts of a slightly-demented med student named Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, THE FRIGHTENERS) who discovers a glowing green fluid that can re-animate the dead. Horror and hilarity ensues. RE-ANIMATOR is one of the best films to blend horror and humor, and it’s impact on the genre cannot be underestimated. There have been two sequels (with a third forthcoming), and star Combs has become a modern horror film icon.

This 2-disc edition is essentially a repackage of the Elite Entertainment "Millennium Edition," of a few years ago, with the addition of a new documentary and a highlighter pen shaped like a hypodermic needle.

If you already have that edition, it’s not necessarily worth an upgrade. The new documentary is lengthy, entertaining and very well produced, but there’s not a whole lot of new information there. On the other hand, if you don’t have that edition, and you’re a true horror fan, then you’ll definitely want to buy this one.

The anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer is excellent. The disc includes a Dolby Surround 5.1 track, a Dolby 2.0 track and a DTS 5.1 track. There are two audio commentaries (dating back to the original laserdisc release): one with Stuart Gordon, the other with nearly the whole cast. Both are among the best audio commentaries I’ve heard; the cast track is a lot of fun.

Disc 2 contains the aforementioned new, 70-minute documentary, plus a whole crapload of other stuff. To whit: On-screen interviews with director Gordon, producer Brian Yuzna, writer Dennis Paoli, composer Richard Band and Fangoria editor Tony Timpone; several extended scenes, the theatrical trailer, TV spots, A whole bunch of still galleries, and a text bio of director Stuart Gordon. DVD-ROM features include both the screenplay and the original story by H.P. Lovecraft.

As I said before, this is an astoundingly good DVD of an essential horror movie. If you don’t already own the Elite "Millennium Edition," then you’ll absolutely want to buy this new Anchor Bay set.

Hell, if you’re a really big fan, you might just want both anyway.

BUY: Re-Animator (2 Disc Set + Highlighter)