Can gore be funny, or better yet, horror-gore be funny? I know full and well that horror can contain plenty of humor (Plenty of Sam Raimi's films, The Nightmare on Elm Street films got progressively funnier over each passing film) but something this gory and fairly horrific? If you have seen Re-Animator, the answer is a resounding yes.
Starting in Switzerland, Herbert West is a quite brilliant, but strange medical student, who has invented a reagent to bring the dead back to life. He brings his mentor, Dr. Hans Gruber (Not canon with Die Hard, I promise you), back to life, but he is accused of murder. West transfers to Miskatonic University in the US, to further his studies in the medicinal field.
He rents a room from fellow med student Dan Cain, who is in love with the dean's daughter Megan, and converts the basement into his laboratory, continuing his experiments on his reagent. Dan stumbles onto West's experiments, with his deceased cat Rufus reanimated to prove to Dan his serum works. Telling Dr. Halsey, the dean, about the reagent, they are barred from the school and deemed crazy.
To redeem their careers, they break into the morgue, re-animate a corpse, but the corpse turns into a zombie, with Dr. Halsey stumbling onto the project, when things start to spiral out of control for all involved.
If you look at it as just a straight up horror film, or a comedy, or a gorefest, it all works on all fronts. Better yet, the film works as a cohesive whole, with plenty of horror, tons of laughs and plenty of blood and guts filled scenes to satisfy all tastes. The cast is generally pretty good, with Jeffrey Combs terrific as Herbert West. The direction from first-time director Stuart Gordon is extremely solid and his execution of the film is top notch. The film is paced extremely well (Not even a full 90 minutes) and the practical makeup, while fairly cheesy at times, still has plenty of creativity.
Moving to the BluRay, the PQ of the film is very solid, especially coming from an aged source (About 25 years when the BluRay was pressed, 31 years old now), with some nice details in the skin and face, excellent black levels, but the film does have an overall soft look. I refer to the cinematography and director's intent on the softness issue, but it doesn't get smeary and looks quite good. A 4K remaster (A re-animation perhaps?) would do wonders though.
AQ, a 5.1 DTS-HD remix from the original mono elements, is pretty decent, but really does nothing to enhance the sound field, with the score being the only exception.
Moving onto the extras, there is plenty here for fans to dig through (Most of it carried over from various DVD releases over the years) starting with 2 commentaries (Stuart Gordon going solo on track #1, the main cast and producer Brain Yuzna on track #2), a full-length making-of documentary with interviews with cast and crew members, interviews with the director, producer, writer, composer, and Fangoria editor, 17 deleted and alternate scenes,the trailer and multiple TV spots, offer hours and hours of fun to dig through. Missing from the DVD's are as follows: an isolated score track, multiple still image galleries and DVD-ROM extras that included the screenplay and text from H.P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator series.
This is a must have BluRay (or DVD if you still use them) with a fun film, good specs and tons of extras to pour through, and for $5.99, its a no brainer!