[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_reanimator_9406.jpg]]

->''"I must say, Dr. Hill, I'm VERY disappointed in you. You steal the secret of life and death, and here you are trysting with a bubble-headed coed. You're not even a second-rate scientist!"''
-->-- '''Herbert West'''

A 1985 film directed by Stuart Gordon, starring the inimitable Creator/JeffreyCombs, and based on the short serial ''Herbert West - Reanimator'' by Creator/HPLovecraft.

The story involves an idealistic medical student named Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott). Dan rents a room to Herbert West (Combs), who has discovered a way to revive the dead, and reluctantly becomes West's assistant. Soon their activities cause a rift between Dan and his girlfriend Meg (Barbara Crampton) and draw down the wrath of university higher-up Dr. Hill (David Gale). Then West decapitates Hill. Then he revives him. And ''then'' things get crazy.

''Re-Animator'' is remembered for its dark humor, gruesome gore effects, transgressive sexuality, and violence against an undead cat. Less well-remembered, but more poignant, is the sweet, wholesome quality of the relationship between Dan and Meg. [[MostFanficWritersAreGirls Fangirls]] gravitate to the perceived [[HoYay homoerotic subtext]] between Herbert and Dan. Basically, there's [[MultipleDemographicAppeal something for everyone]].

''Re-Animator'' was not the first [[LovecraftOnFilm film adaptation of Lovecraft]]; there were waves of them in the mid-1960s (''The Haunted Palace'' by Creator/RogerCorman, and ''Die, Monster, Die!'' by frequent Corman collaborator Dan Haller) and the early 1970s (''The Dunwich Horror'' -- Haller again -- and several episodes of ''NightGallery''). But Gordon's film is probably the most famous such adaptation. It spawned a wave of [[FollowTheLeader imitators]] and {{Spiritual Successor}}s including ''Film/FromBeyond'', ''Lurking Fear'', and ''Castle Freak'' (all starring Combs, with ''From Beyond'' and ''Castle Freak'' also being directed by Gordon) and 2001's ''Film/{{Dagon}}'' (directed by Gordon).

Naturally also spawned official sequels. The first was ''Bride of Re-Animator'' (1990). Dan, growing uncomfortable with Herbert's experiments, decides that he will move out of the house that he and Herbert share. To convince him to stay, Herbert takes the heart of Dan's deceased girlfriend Meg and offers to create a body for it. Subplots include the return of Dr. Hill and a detective investigating the massacre at the end of the first movie.

The second sequel was ''Beyond Re-Animator'' (2003). Herbert West has been in prison for thirteen years after one of his test subjects killed a teenaged girl and Dan Cain testified against him. The prison has a new doctor, Howard Peterson, who has West help him in the infirmary. Howard is revealed to be the younger brother of the girl who was killed by West's test subject. He helps West continue his experiments in the hope that what happened to his sister will never happen to anyone else again. West experiments with nanoplasmic energy, which can be taken from a living person and put into a reanimated person, restoring rational behavior. It works. Sort of.

Besides the films, there are several other adaptations. ''Re-Animator'' has had crossover comic books with ''Comicbook/HackSlash'' and ''Comicbook/ArmyOfDarkness''. There is also a critically acclaimed [[http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/05/03/re-animator-the-musical-pumps-new-life-into-cult-favorite/ musical]].
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!!The films provide examples of:

* AdaptationDistillation: The first two movies contain many parts of the book and remain faithful with the character portrayals in the book, while changing the tone a bit.
** The Original story was published in a comedy magazine. Lovecraft wrote a comedy. A really horrifying comedy.
** The Original was also set over several decades, with each short story portraying one or more notable events in Herbert West's attempt to bring the dead back. The first two movies play out over the span of days and are set only months apart.
* AdaptationDyeJob: In Lovecraft's original story, Herbert West was described as blonde-haired and blue-eyed. [[LostInImitation Every subsequent depiction of West]] ''anywhere else'' since the ''Re-Animator'' film has been closer to Creator/JeffreyCombs' appearance.
* AncientTomb: The crypt Herbert and Dan's basement shares a wall with in Bride.
* AndShowItToYou:
** [[spoiler: The Bride does this to ''herself''.]]
** Dr. West's diagnosis: "Tissue rejection."
* AnimalsHateHim: Dan's cat Rufus is said to have hated Herbert. It's unclear if Rufus sensed something unusual about Herbert or if he was just being an ordinary cat. It's also unclear whether or not Herbert killed Rufus to use in an experiment.
* AntiHero / AntiVillain: West. He does really nasty, dreadful stuff, and the well being of his "friends" is an afterthought for him, but all in the name of science, and he never kills anyone unless it's in self-defense or the person deserved it. He also seems to genuinely have a fondness for Dan, even calling the Re-Agent in ''Bride'' "our Re-Agent", feeding heavily into the HoYay between the two.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: The Re-Agent.
* ArchEnemy: Dr. Hill to West.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: West and Dan checking out bodies in the morgue for a suitable test subject, citing there causes of death:
-->'''West:''' Burn victim... [next body] Here's your [[ItMakesSenseInContext meatball]]... [next body] Shotgun wound to the head...
-->'''Dan:''' [next body] Ugh, god! He's rotten!
-->'''West:''' [next body] ...Malpractice.
* BatOutOfHell
* BeatStillMyHeart
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Or just plain EvilVsEvil, considering everyone the VillainProtagonist knocks off intentionally or otherwise is also an AssholeVictim. There's not a whole lot of gray among the black here.
* BlackComedyRape: A severed head attempts oral sex on a captured girl in one of the most outrageous scenes in the first film.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: Surprisingly averted, despite teasing at this outcome several times; a black dude or two ''does'' die, but only among many other paler-skinned victims, and of course none of them ''stay'' dead.
* BloodyHandPrint
* BodyHorror: Lots of creative examples.
* ByronicHero: Herbert West genuinely doesn't want to hurt anyone, but his blind pursuit of science leads to him doing some REALLY dreadful stuff in its name. He also has many flaws, including bluntness and lack of social skills.
* CameBackWrong: Dan Cain's "Bride."
** '''''EVERYBODY''''' who comes back comes back wrong in at least some way.
* CanonDiscontinuity: In the first film, Dr. Hill's head is crushed by Dean Halsey. However, in the second film, it shows up intact and gets reanimated again.
* CartwrightCurse: Being Dan Cain's love interest '''seriously''' counts against your life expectancy. You'll probably be horribly traumatized before dying, too.
* CatScare: Memorably.
* ContractualImmortality: Being played by [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Jeffrey Combs]] ensures that West survives the gory finale of each film against all odds.
** Which is a sharp 180 degree inversion from the original novella, in which West ends up a victim of his reanimation subjects, torn to pieces by an undead mob.
*** "But perhaps I wouldn't be mad if that accursed tomb legion had not been so silent."
* CPRCleanPrettyReliable: Well, maybe not so much on the reliable.
* CradlingYourKill
* CreepyBasement
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: After dying and being reanimated, a prison guard in ''Beyond'' keeps saying "Dubious" after a confrontation with West in which he hears the word but doesn't understand it. When West impersonates Dr. Peterson to escape the prison, he passes the guard who says to no one in particular "Dubious? Dubious."
* CuriosityKilledTheCast: West re-animates every dead person and animal he comes across [[ForScience for science]], despite the fact that they ''keep trying to kill him''.
* DangerousWindows
* DeadlyDoctor: Herbert West has shades of this.
* DeadpanSnarker:
-->''"You steal the secret of life and death, and here you are trysting with a bubble-headed coed."''
** Also:
-->''"Who's going to believe a talking head? Get a job in a sideshow!"''
** After Dan starts flirting with Francesca:
-->''"Don't let the [[SomethingElseAlsoRises little head]] rule the big head, Dan!"''
* DramaticThunder: Begs for attention during the finale of the second film.
* DulcineaEffect: In ''Beyond Re-Animator''. Dr. Phillips stops to help Laura, who has a twisted ankle, ''before'' helping a guard who had a chunk of his arm ripped out by one of West's zombies.
* {{Expy}}: Several of the characters in ''Beyond''. Dr. Phillips, West's new assistant, is Dan Cain, an idealistic young doctor who hopes West's work can be used to save lives. Laura, Dr. Phillips' love interest who [[spoiler: gets killed and reanimated]] is Meg Halsey. The Warden, a lustful man obsessed with Laura who wants to steal West's reagent, is an expy for Dr. Hill.
* EyeScream:
** Doctor Gruber.
** The junkie in ''Beyond''.
* FanDisservice: The infamous "giving head" scene.
* {{Fanservice}}: Lots.
* ForgetsToEat: In the first movie, Meg points out that Dan has never seen Herbert eat or sleep. In a deleted scene, it's implied that West injects a diluted version of his Reagent instead.
* ForScience: Herbert West is [[IncrediblyLamePun DEAD]] [[SeriousBusiness serious]] about his dedication to this trope. He has no motivation for any of his experiments beyond his need to '''know'''. He's not interested in fame, money, helping others, or even immortality. He just wants to go past the mysteries of life and death. As far as he's concerned, any other thing is superfluous.
* FullFrontalAssault: Most of the re-animated.
* GallowsHumor: Aside from the films themselves, Dr. West is a master of doing this... or just does this because of his non-social skills.
* GagPenis: The Warden's severed penis which comes to life due to West's serum in ''Beyond''.
* GenreBlindness: Everyone in these films.
* GenreSavvy: Surprisingly, West himself is this by ''Beyond''. Apparently, 15 years in prison helps a lot to analyze what happened right and wrong in the previous movies. The moment he sees [[IntrepidReporter Laura]] in ''Beyond'', he KNOWS she'll be trouble, and his approach to his experiments is much more methodical than his usual cut-and-paste improvised method of experimentation. He also learns to sedate a corpse before reanimating it.
* GoneHorriblyWrong: Pretty much every use of Re-Agent.
* AGodAmI / RageAgainstTheHeavens: "Blasphemy? Before what god? A god repulsed by the miserable humanity he created in his own image? I will not be shackled by the failures of your god. The only blasphemy is to wallow in insignificance. I have taken refuse of your god's failures and I have triumphed. There! THERE is my creation!"
* {{Gorn}}: Holy crap, are these movies gory! Part of their charm, really. Just [[spoiler:the Bride's death scene]] in ''Bride'' is one of the most lovingly crafted pieces of special-effect gorn ever filmed.
* HardWorkMontage: In ''Beyond,'' West produces some Re-Agent using a montage.
* HollywoodLaw: A prison warden does not have the ability to increase an inmate's sentence.
* HospitalHottie: Nurse Vanessa in ''Beyond''.
* HotScoop: Laura in ''Beyond''.
* HulkSpeak
* TheIgor: Dan Cain
* ILoveTheDead: Reversed. Reversed hard.
* ImAHumanitarian: Some of the zombies as well as Moses, a crazy killer who was a cannibal even before his death and reanimation.
* InformedFlaw: Dr. Hill is portrayed as a scientific hack who can only steal the ideas of others. However, he is able to use his laser drill to control reanimated corpses and he understood the reagent well enough to successfully use it on bodies that West gave up on.
** West's opinion of Doctor Hill is due to the latter's disbelief in West's theories. Doctor Hill revises his opinion later in the movie and may actually teach what he knows is inaccurate (deleted scenes show him possessing hypnotic mind-control powers). By the time Hill revises his opinion, he's trying to steal the reanimation agent.
* TheInsomniac: Herbert West is two of the listed subtypes, an Obsessive Insomniac and a Superpowered Insomniac. In a deleted scene, it's shown that West injects himself with a solution of his Re-Agent to keep himself from sleeping. This "keeps his mind sharp" but is also implied to be the cause of his insanity.
* InsufferableGenius: West's brash personality leads to a rocky relationship with a certain faculty member.
* KarmaHoudini: Even with all the nightmarish stuff he causes and the many, MANY times someone or some''thing'' tries to kill him, West always survives. Granted, there wouldn't ''[[JokerImmunity be]]'' a franchise if he died, but...
** Though he does go to jail in Beyond... [[spoiler:only to break out by the end of things]].
* LampshadeHanging
--> "They're all actors here."
* LargeHam: Apparently Stuart Gordon, the director of the first film, encouraged this kind of acting style. Jefferey Combs as West and David Gale as Doctor Hill in particular seem to have really gone for it.
* LaughingMad: The end of ''Beyond''.
* LipstickMark: In ''Beyond'', West notices lipstick on Peterson's collar and fears that Laura might be seducing him for information.
* LosingYourHead: "You're a [[IncrediblyLamePun nobody]]!"
* MadDoctor
* MadScientist: HOLY CRAP is he ever!
** Surprisingly he's also the most level-headed individual in the entire series! By the end of a film, everyone ''except'' West is going through some manner of hysterics, while West continues like everything is just another experiment.
* MadScientistLaboratory
* MixAndMatchMan: The Bride.
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: On the soft side. We get no explanation for how the Reagent works beyond "restarting the physical and chemical process of life" and its effects are inconsistent and unpredictable.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Dr. Hill, and possibly West in the sequels.
* MsFanservice: Meg, Francesca, Laura, Nurse Vanessa.
* NotQuiteDead: ''Everyone''.
* OfCorpseHesAlive: Used to smuggle a body out of the university's crematorium in ''Bride of Re-Animator''.
* OpenSecret: Reanimation in the third film. According to Howard, the government tried to cover up West's experiments. However, Laura has several newspaper clippings which show that at least some aspects of West's research are common knowledge.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: To begin with, they're brought back by injections of glowstick fluid rather than by gnawing on each other.
* ParentalIncest: Although the dad is a dead body being controlled by someone else by this point.
* PlayingWithSyringes
* PreAsskickingOneLiner: West to the Warden. "This experiment is over."
* PreMortemOneLiner: Before West fries the Warden in an electric chair.
-->'''Warden''': "But I'm the Warden!"
-->'''West''': "Guilty as charged."
* ProfessorGuineaPig: In a deleted scene, West is shown shooting up the reagent himself to keep him awake indefinitely.
* PsychoSerum: The Re-Agent.
* PsychicPowers: Dr. Hill apparently possess them, since he is able to control the minds of people. Sadly, this only appears in a deleted scene of the first movie where he is hypnotizing Megan's father.
** This is featured more prominently in the second movie when Hill, nothing more than a severed head, is able to telepathically control three of the zombies he made at the end of the first film.
** This seems to be the reason Hill's headless body can see what it's doing and knows how to tend to his head. There's also implication that Hill has a psychic hold over the reanimated Alan when the former releases the latter from his padded cell.
* ResurrectedRomance
* ReplacementLoveInterest: Francesca, Gloria, The Bride.
* SequelNonEntity: Dan Cain is nowhere to be seen by the time the third movie rolls around. This is handwaved away by West remarking that his "last assistant turned state's evidence on [him]".
* SeriesContinuityError: In ''Bride of Re-Animator'', West references seeing Dan holding Meg's dead body after failing to reanimate her. A deleted scene shows the actual failed reanimation, as well as West handwaving [[spoiler: Hill failing to kill him as [[IncrediblyLamePun "He didn't have the guts."]]]] More generally, West [[spoiler: apparently dies in both of the first two movies, but still comes back for the sequels.]]
* ScreamingWoman
* ShadowDiscretionShot: The fight between warden's penis and a rat in ''Beyond''.
* ShoutOut: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._P._Lovecraft Howard Phillips' name]].
* StalkerWithACrush: Dr. Hill for Meg. It's implied that he's been obsessed with her ever since she was [[{{Lolicon}} a child]].
* {{Stripperiffic}}: In ''Beyond Re-Animator'' the outfits Laura and Nurse Vanessa wear were far too sexy ever to be allowed inside a real prison, especially a men's prison.
** Actually justified in Laura's case, since she's trying to sweeten up the Warden as part of her scoop, but in Nurse Vanessa's case? Totally unjustifiable.
** At one point, Vanessa has her lab coat ripped off by one of West's zombies. All she has on beneath it is some extremely flimsy lacy underwear, the bra part of which doesn't hold together for five whole seconds under the assault.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Howard Phillips
* TechnicolorScience: Re-Agent is actually the stuff inside your average glowstick.
* TooDumbToLive: Laura in ''Beyond''. Hooooly crap, did she ever mess up.
* TookALevelInBadass: West in ''Beyond'' is MUCH more willing to be physical than in the previous flicks. 13 years in prison will do that to you, it seems.
* TheUndead
* UnexplainedRecovery: Herbert West himself seemingly dies at the end of the first two films (in the first he is last seen dragged off by a monstrously mutated Doctor Hill, and in ''Bride'' he is again dragged off by re-animated hybrids with a basement collapsing on top of him), and at the start of the next film he is alive and well with no explanation.
* VillainBasedFranchise: Herbert West, the titular Re-Animator.
* VillainProtagonist: Herbert West again.
* VisualPun: Either supremely funny or supremely horrifying: [[spoiler:Dr. Hill giving Meg head... as in, giving her oral sex as a ''[[LosingYourHead disembodied head]]'']].
* TheWatson: Dan Cain. Although, to be fair, more important to his role than asking questions on the audience's behalf is expressing disbelief at the fact that he's still living with West.
* ZombieGait
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