Re-Animator: Integral Version

4 out of 5

Directed by: Stuart Gordon

There were several versions of Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator.  After various cuts made their way to various releases, a director-approved unrated version seemed to be settled on as the definitive one, and that’s how I would eventually watch it in my horror self-educatin’ hey-days.  While that R-less flag – basking in all its blood and nudity – would seem to trump any watered down version, several dialogue scenes that were cut from the original made their way into some of the TV / rated versions, and these aren’t just to patch the gore: they reinstate the concept of Dr. Hill’s telepathy, which makes more sense of some characters’ decisions, and also helps to flesh out some connective tissue scene to scene.  Overall, I do think that keeping these moments out of the film was to its benefit: the less-than-ninety minute unrated cut is wonderfully precise, and the telepathy thing feels like an odd inclusion in the movie, hence my noting this as a star less than the other version.  However, the slower pacing – for better or worse – tends to downplay the black humor to a certain extent, making the film feel slightly more horrific.

Definitely worth watching as an interesting counterpoint to the unrated version.