It’s the Booze Talkin’, I’m game for a Re-Animator Reboot!

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

If it’s a Friday at the box office, chances are one of the opening movies will be a remake/sequel/reboot. It’s far from just a trend at this point, and it is as inescapable as a knife wielding psycho that can’t be stopped. Last weekend we had the triumphant MAD MAD: FURY ROAD and this weekend marks an amped up version of POLTERGEIST. It is a moot point to write another article on why remakes suck because frankly, some of them don’t – and yes, I do realize many, if not most, do. But if we are going to see something updated, there is one film franchise that has been rumored to be brought to life again that I’d actually be curious about.

In 1985 the twisted and gruesome humor and horror of RE-ANIMATOR graced our presence and it still a joy to watch. From Jeffrey Combs crazed Dr. Herbert West to the head of Dr. Carl Hill devilishly portrayed by David Gale, this is a prime example of how great low-budget horror can be. It is loaded with disturbing visuals, talented actors, and a sincere wink and nod to the source material – based on a story by the legendary H.P. Lovecraft. Director Stuart Gordon co-wrote the script with William Norris and Dennis Paoli, and helped create a cult classic that is recognizable to nearly every single horror fan today.

Unlike many major horror releases, the sequels to RE-ANIMATOR took a little time to find themselves in production. There was BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR in 1990 and BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR in 2003. While each had horror movie moments of delight, neither truly captured the spark of the original film. According to Wikipedia, producer Brian Yuzna mentioned he had an idea for a fourth film entitled ISLE OF RE-ANIMATOR, with a story influenced by H.G. Wells novel “The Island of Doctor Moreau.” Yet this film never found its way to production. What we did get however – similar to EVIL DEAD – was a stage musical adaptation which opened on Broadway.

For a number of years there have been reports that a RE-ANIMATOR remake was on its way. News circulated that it would feature Jeffrey Combs in a small role. And at one point DAGON star Ezra Godden was reported to take on Combs iconic role, with Elisha Cuthbert as the female lead. However, all these reports have failed to prove true as we’ve yet to hear anything as of late. Perhaps then, this remake is dead and buried, but you all are very aware that is near impossible to keep something dead in Hollywood.

The truth is, if done right, I’d be way more than tempted to see what a filmmaker could do with this story. Maybe with Brian Yuzna producing and a director willing to take it on, we could have something special. One of my favorite remakes of the past couple of years was THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN which proved you can make a remake/sequel and create a true companion piece to the original. Maybe tying Dr. Herbert West into the remake, as the aging scientist, could be a fun way to connect to the original? Or perhaps simply starting from scratch? Either way, if the right filmmaker and an intriguing upgrade for this classic flick came along, it might very well be worth revisiting.

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but I’m game for a return to Re-Animator. Remakes and reboots aren’t going away anytime soon. And let’s be honest here, if you are going to remake both HALLOWEEN and PSYCHO, there may be nothing sacred. However, like the recent EVIL DEAD, RE-ANIMATOR is a blood drenched horror movie that may make for an cool redux. Just try and keep it fresh, stick to practical effects with CG enhancement, and it just might be a worthwhile continuation of this fascinating franchise.

Source: AITH

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JimmyO is one of’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.