Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “Herbert West - Re-Animator” from 1922, RE-ANIMATOR came about when Chicago theater director Gordon was looking for something new to adapt to the stage and read Lovecraft's serialized story at the library. Gordon, playwright Dennis Paoli and fellow writer William Norris then considered making their loose adaptation into a TV series. Fate intervened when they met producer Brian Yuzna. The producer had been looking for a project to launch his filmmaking career and this proved to be a perfect fit. Eventually the group got in bed with Empire Pictures’ Charles Band and the rest is history. Filming began in November 1984 with a main cast of young unknowns in their first few years working in Hollywood including Barbara Crampton, Bruce Abbott, and Jeffrey Combs.