->''"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 SciFiHorror Comedy film directed and co-written by Stuart Gordon, starring the inimitable Creator/JeffreyCombs, and based on the short serial ''Literature/HerbertWestReanimator'' 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. Others gravitate to the HomoeroticSubtext 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 ''Film/DieMonsterDie'' by frequent Corman collaborator Dan Haller) and the early 1970s (''The Dunwich Horror'' -- Haller again -- and several episodes of ''Series/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'', ''Film/LurkingFear'', and ''Film/CastleFreak'' (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: First was ''Film/BrideOfReAnimator'' (1990), directed by Creator/BrianYuzna (a frequent collaborator of Stuart Gordon who was a producer on the first film) and ''Film/BeyondReAnimator'' (2003), also directed by Yuzna.

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]].
!!The film provides examples of:
* AdaptationDistillation: The first two movies contain many parts of the book and remain faithful with the character portrayals in the book, but play up the story for BlackComedy and lots of sexual weirdness. 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.
* AmbiguousSituation: It's unclear whether Herbert killed Dan's cat for use in an experiment or if he really did find the cat dead like he claimed he did.
* 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.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: The Re-Agent.
* ArchEnemy: Dr. Hill to West, which carries on to the sequel when he is brought back to life.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: West and Dan checking out bodies in the morgue for a suitable test subject, citing their 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.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Of course. [[spoiler: For one example, Hill's severed head still manages to talk despite a lack of lungs to push air through his vocal chords.]]
* {{Asexuality}}: Herbert shows no interest in sex or romance whatsoever and despises Hill for using his formula just to have sex with Megan. There is also that line taken from the second movie:
--> '''Herbert''': Don't let the little head rule the big head, Dan.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Dr. Carl Hill, who tries to steal West's notes and ends up leading a zombie army against him.]]
* 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.
* BodyHorror: Lots of creative examples.
* BodybagTrick: Dan smuggles West into the morgue to do re-animation experiments with this trick.
* BookEnds: The first film begins with Dan failing to resuscitate a dead woman despite all his efforts. [[spoiler: It tragically ends the same way when he is unable to revive Megan no matter what he does, which makes him use the Re-Agent on her corpse out of desperation...]]
* 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: '''''EVERYBODY''''' who comes back comes back wrong in at least some way.
* CanonDiscontinuity: [[spoiler:Dr. Hill's head is crushed by the reanimated Dean Halsey at the end. 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.
* CigarChomper: Mace, the morgue guard, is always chewing on a cigar.
* ComicbookAdaptation: In 1991, Malibu Comics released a three-issue adaptation of the film, and later followed it with the {{Prequel}} miniseries ''Dawn of the Re-Animator''.
* CPRCleanPrettyReliable: Well, maybe not so much on the reliable.
%%* CreepyBasement
* CuriosityKilledTheCast: West re-animates every dead person and animal he comes across {{for science}}, despite the fact that they ''keep trying to kill him''.
%%* DangerousWindows
* DeadlyDoctor: Herbert West has shades of this.
* DeadpanSnarker: West. Sometimes it isn't even verbal, like when he kept snapping his pencils to interrupt a professor he didn't agree with.
-->''"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!"''
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:After Hill is seemingly killed, his zombies go on a complete rampage, with one strangling West last we see of him. A zombie manages to kill Meg, whose desperate boyfriend Dan tries to inject her with Re-Agent. Film fades to black in the middle of the zombie rampage, as we hear Meg's screams. Mitigated by the sequel, where we learn that West and Dan survived.]]
* EyeScream: Doctor Gruber in the intro has his eyes squished out.
* FanDisservice: The infamous "giving head" scene.
%%* {{Fanservice}}: Lots.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Dan's Music/TalkingHeads poster. His teacher Dr. Hill later becomes one.
** The opening scene where Dan fails to resuscitate a dead patient and is told by one of his peers that he needs to know when to quit. [[spoiler: He's faced with the the same scenario at the very end- this time the dead person his own girlfriend, making it much more personal- and becomes so desperate not to lose her that it drives him to use West's reagent on her.]]
* ForgetsToEat: 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 during the climax, since they were naked corpses laying on slabs before their re-animation.
* GallowsHumor: Aside from the films themselves, Dr. West is a master of doing this... or just does this because of his non-social skills.
%%* GenreBlindness: Everyone in these films.
* GoneHorriblyWrong: Pretty much every use of Re-Agent.
* HappyEnding: A RealLife example. David Gale had grown tired of acting and had been [[MoneyDearBoy doing it for the paycheck]] for years when he was cast in the first film. Much to his surprise, he realized that he ''loved'' hamming it up and actually wrote director Stuart Gordon a note thanking him for "''re-animating [his] love of acting.''" Gale's agent put the word out that he would be interested in more sci-fi and horror films; because of Gale's awesome work as the loathsome Dr. Hill, he had his pick of roles until his death years later.
* HeelFaceTurn: The re-animated Alan Halsey regains some semblance of recognition and turns against Dr. Hill in order to save his daughter.
%%* HulkSpeak
%%* TheIgor: Dan Cain
%%* ILoveTheDead: ''Reversed.''
* 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.
* JobTitle
* 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.
* LosingYourHead: "You're a [[IncrediblyLamePun nobody]]!"
%%* MadDoctor
* MadScientist: ''Dr. West.'' 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
* 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
* NamedByTheAdaptation: Dan Cain. In the original novella, West's reluctant sidekick is the narrator and never gets around to mentioning his own name.
%%* NotQuiteDead: ''Everyone''.
%%* OffWithHisHead: Dr. Hill
* 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
* ProfessorGuineaPig: In a deleted scene, West is shown shooting up the reagent himself to keep him awake indefinitely.
* PsychicPowers: Dr. Hill apparently possesses 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 an implication that Hill has a psychic hold over the reanimated Alan when the former releases the latter from his padded cell.
%%* PsychoSerum: The Re-Agent.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: The morgue guard Mace, after witnessing the reanimated shenanigans first-hand, wisely decides to bail out.
%%* ScreamingWoman
* ShovelStrike: After Dr. Hill declares that he is going to take credit for the Re-Agent, West distracts him by showing him a sample under a microscope, hits him over the head with a shovel and then cuts through Hill's neck with the edge of the shovel.
* StalkerWithACrush: Dr. Hill for Meg. It's implied that he's been obsessed with her ever since she was a child.
* TechnicolorScience: Re-Agent is actually the stuff inside your average glowstick.
%%* TheUndead
* 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