Janet Maslin said this about the film in the New York Times in 1985:
''RE-ANIMATOR'' has as much originality as it has gore, and that's really saying something. Stay away if you haven't a special fondness for severed body parts, or an unflinching curiosity about autopsy scenes; this one takes place mostly at the morgue, and it doesn't leave a thing to the imagination. But as directed by Stuart Gordon, a television and stage director making his feature debut, ''Re-Animator'' has a fast pace and a good deal of grisly vitality. It even has a sense of humor, albeit one that would be lost on 99.9 percent of any ordinary moviegoing crowd.
It takes some, uh, skill to sound snobbish about moviegoers while praising a gory horror film, but there you go. And here's the official word on the Blu-ray:
On September 4th, Image Entertainment resurrects one of the greatest horror films ever made with the Blu-ray™ debut of Stuart Gordon’s cult classic H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator. Presented in a brand-new 1080p HD transfer approved by producer Brian Yuzna, the 1985 shocker was ranked #32 of 50 on EW’s “Top 50 Cult Films,” inspired two sequels as well as an award-winning stage musical!
Featuring high-resolution DTS-HD audio and packed with bonus features, the Re-Animator Blu-ray™ hits retail with an SRP of $17.97. Also available on DVD for an SRP of $9.98. Pre-book for both is August 7th.
Adapted by Dennis Paoli, William J. Norris and Stuart Gordon from the H.P. Lovecraft short story, Re-Animator tells the strange tale of medical student Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot) and his girlfriend Megan Halsey (Barbara Crampton), both of them drawn to odd new student Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) who’s conducting secret experiments involving the re-animation of dead tissue. When one of the instructors, Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale), stumbles upon their activities, West murders him -- but is brought back to life, now thirsting for revenge as well as lusting after Megan. The final denouement features the re-animated Dr. Hill squaring off against Herbert and Dan in a battle royale within the school’s morgue, complete with resurrected “henchmen” and undoubtedly one of the greatest visual double entendres in all horror cinema!
Bonus features for the Re-Animator Blu-ray™ include:
Documentary: “Re-Animator Resurrectus”
Audio Commentary by Director Stuart Gordon
Audio Commentary by Producer Brian Yuzna and Actors Bruce Abbott, Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton and Robert Sampson
Interview with Director Stuart Gordon and Producer Brian Yuzna
Interview with Writer Dennis Paoli
Interview with Composer Richard Band
Music Discussion with Composer Richard Band
Interview with Fangoria Magazine editor Tony Timpone
Deleted and Extended Scenes