It's hard to know where to begin bragging about Re-Animator. The cinematography and special effects are wonderful. Anthony Doublin [Robot Chicken, The Lawnmover Man] and John Naulin's [Team America: World Police] undead creations remind me of the best of John Carpenter's work in the 1980's. It's classic stuff that is a tad cheesy but still looks good all these years later. The visual elements are greatly enhanced but a dynamic film score that doesn't have a trace of 80's New Wave and opts for a much more classic approach. Furthermore, director Stuart Gordon [Honey I Shrunk the Kids] knows how to film action sequences and seems at home with all the special effects. His pacing of the film is perfect and there's a good balance between horror and human elements.
The cast is great through and through. Jeffrey Combs [The Frightners, From Beyond] is perfect as West. He's both geeky and creepy at the same time. His professor who wants to steal all his secrets is played by David Gale who is especially wonderful in the scenes where he's acting as a severed head on a tray. West's classmate Dan is played by Bruce Abbott [Dark Justice, bad Screams]. He, along with his love interest Megan [Barbara Crampton] give the film the emotional center it needs in the midst of all the gore.
Rent Re-Animator ASAP. 80's horror doesn't get much better than this one!