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This subject is written on a topic in the real world and reflects factual information. This subject contains information from the "Lovecraft Circle" Myth Cycles, and while guided by HPL are not based on his work alone. Re-Animator is a 1985 American comedy horror science fiction film loosely based on the H. P. Lovecraft episodic novella "Herbert West–Reanimator." Written by Dennis Paoli, directed by Stuart Gordon, and produced by Brian Yuzna, it was the first film in the Re-Animator film series. Its success caused a small boom in Lovecraft adaptations in cinema, and the film is still used as one of the benchmarks for appreciating and critiquing Lovecraftian cinema.

It was followed by a sequel in 1990, Bride of Re-Animator, and by Beyond Re-Animator in 2003.


A black-comedy retelling of the original story, Re-Animator is updated to a contemporary setting. It takes its plot and characters from the first two episodes of the serial, depicting Herbert West--played by Jeffrey Combs--as a medical student at Miskatonic University. The unnamed narrator in the novella is called Daniel Cain, and is played by Bruce Abbott. Dean Alan Halsey, another character invented by Lovecraft, is portrayed by Robert Sampson, first as an academic foil to West and later as a re-animated zombie. Halsey is given a daughter, Megan, played by Barbara Crampton; she is Cain's love interest. Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale) is a rival of West's who learns to use some of the re-animator's techniques--allowing himself to function even after his head has been separated from his body.


  • The film was adapted for the stage as Re-Animator: The Musical, first performed in 2011. Stuart Gordon and Dennis Paoli, the original film's director and screenwriter respectively, both played key roles in the theatrical production.


  • The name of West's professor in Switzerland, a minor character who appears at the beginning of the film, is Hans Gruber--which is also the name of the villain in Die Hard, a film released three years later.