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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Horror > Satire > Post-Modern > Re-Animator: Millennium Edition (Elite Entertainment)

H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator – Millennium Edition


Picture: B+     Sound: B+     Extras: B     Film: B-



The Millennium Edition series from Elite Entertainment turned out to be quite short-lived (it brought about only three titles).  All three were important, if sporadic; entries from horror’s semi-recent past that have amassed sizable cult followings.  However, while Re-Animator certainly deserves the right to be included in this prestige series, it is probably the most obscure and is debatably less influential than the other films brought to us under this banner.  Even if its inclusion does seem a tad out of place, I‘m not going to be the one to complain.  The only thing this all amounts to in the end anyway is some nifty-looking packaging that houses an excellent print of the movie, along with a slew of extra features... all of which is cool with me.


The movie still today seems to be somewhat lacking the audience it deserves, and remains largely undiscovered by younger horror fans who are only now catching on to what the Evil Dead series has to offer, and sadly not digging much deeper than that.  Luckily, a new (though lackluster) comic book series that bridges the two franchises seems to be doing well enough to stir some interest.  Perhaps a few of the uninitiated from the Raimi camp will wander over into this yet-unfamiliar territory.  For years after the success of Re-Animator, director Stuart Gordon formed the majority of his movie career around its general blueprint.  Even now he continues to adapt Lovecraft’s short stories into B-movie video fare, much like Roger Corman had done years ago with much of Poe’s body of work.  None of the few Gordon/Lovecraft films that I’ve gotten around to seeing have really stood up to this one though each has had some redeeming moments that have made it a worthwhile watch.


The picture on this edition is very good, and I commend Elite for taking the time to give this film proper attention and elevate the quality of the disc above any version previously available.  Despite the transfer being a few years old, the image still looks great and is anamorphically enhanced for 16X9 televisions, with the aspect ratio of 1.85:1.


As far as audio choices go, there are plenty of options to suit enthusiasts with different preferences or to fit with their current sound system.  For those with an optimal setup 5.1 DTS surround sound is offered, but you’ll also find the obligatory mix for Dolby - as well as the original 2.0 mono mix.  Those are all fairly standard inclusions for DVD audio, but on top of that you’ll find the isolated musical score in 5.1 Dolby surround. How’s that for added value?


In the bonus features department, you’ll find all sorts of things to pore over, and a lot of it is worth going back later on and rediscovering when you get the chance.  There’s a pile of recent video interviews created just for this edition, and you’ll run across the theatrical trailer as well as some TV spots.  But as far as I see, the coolest stuff lies in the deleted and extended scenes.  Better still, you’ll find storyboards to go along with a few choice scenes from the film.  These are most enjoyable for me since it offers a lot of insight to the creation process, and it’s great to see something that was given life on film side-by-side with the hand-drawn concept it started from.  The rest of the extras are minor ones, but they include a photo gallery and biographies/filmographies of choice people involved in the production.


I recommend this edition very highly, as well as the other two films that comprise The Millennium Series (both reviewed elsewhere on this site).  If you’re looking for a good movie fix, you could certainly do worse.  At least try this one out, and then perhaps move on to some of the other Stuart Gordon/H.P. Lovecraft combos.  They’re not quite up to par as much as they could and should be, but you might appreciate them that little bit more if you’ve sat this one out beforehand and came away impressed.  Here’s hoping that someday Gordon is again able to hit the nail on the head and create another film that can someday also be looked on as both a genre classic and post-modernist favorite.



-   David Milchick


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