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‘House of Re-Animator’: The Presidential Sequel That Never Happened

Of the dead, by the dead, and for the dead.

Just shy of 20 years after Herbert West debuted on the screen, the Re-Animator franchise came to a close with third installment Beyond Re-Animator, released in 2003; the film originally premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel, which is needless to say not where any franchise hopes to end up. West was subsequently brought back to life in the form of comic books and even a musical (which initially starred The Mind’s Eye actor Graham Skipper!), and at the time of writing this post, a pseudo-remake titled Re-Animator: Evolution is being actively developed.

But what about the sequels that never came to be? At one point, Bride of Re-Animator and Beyond Re-Animator director Brian Yuzna was working on an Island of Dr. Moreau-inspired sequel to be titled Island of Re-Animator, but the most interesting unmade sequel was set to, believe it or not, center on Dr. Herbest West re-animating the President of the United States!

In 2006, three years after Beyond Re-Animator, the news broke that Stuart Gordon would be returning to the franchise to direct House of Re-Animator, which would again star both Jeffrey Combs and Bruce Abbott. The story was strongly inspired by the George W. Bush presidency that was a hot topic of discussion at the time, and the basic plot of the series’ proposed fourth installment was that a Bush-like president would die in office, prompting the U.S. government to call Herbert West in to do what West does best: bring the dead back from the dead.

Spearheaded by Halcyon International Pictures, the White House-set House of Re-Animator was planned to be the first in a brand new trilogy of West stories, and franchise regulars Dennis Paoli and Brian Yuzna were on board to produce. Who was going to play the president, you ask? Reports at the time indicated that William H. Macy would call the Oval Office home.

And yes, Macy himself confirmed his involvement in the film.

A couple pieces of early promo art (below) were shown off around that time, but House of Re-Animator quickly fell of the map entirely. The reason for the project’s death seems to have been that producers were worried about ruffling feathers over at the real White House; not to mention, the topical concept was pretty much dead in the water once Bush left office in 2009.

William H. Macy as a zombified George W. Bush. Just picture that!

*Credit to Marcel Jansen for art featured at the top of this article.*




  • Saturn

    I’d still rather have House Of Re-Animator than the one that’s coming.

    • TwiztidJuggla420

      I have zero interest in any want to be Re-Animator film/series without Jeffrey Combs.

  • Rohan Sorensen

    That’s funny, I just finished watching the original when I saw this article. That’s too bad, it would have been pretty fun. The new one sounds a bit too serious.

  • Cappy Tally

    I like these articles about films that were never made. Anyone else remember the time when Rob Zombie was announced to be remaking The Blob? I always wondered how that would turn out. He said he’d do away with the concept of a “big red blobby thing” and it was never clear exactly what he had in mind, but there’s concept art on Alex Horley’s website that suggests something really cool could have resulted from it.

    • Adam Clifton

      A morbidly obese redneck eating the townspeople and only Sheri Moon Zombie can stop him?

  • REAL6

    The only movie I would have loved to see is BERSERKER!!! Arnold Schwarzenegger as a bodybuilder and turns into a monster from steroids and with Stuart Gordon directing in the 80’s.

    • Baron Von Marlon

      First time I hear about this. Does sound like pure awesomeness.

      • REAL6

        Here is something on it:

        Schwarzenegger plays a wrestler that’s addicted to steroids and he ends up going crazy and going on a murder spree through New York City.

        • Baron Von Marlon

          The stuff movie dreams are made of…

          They should still do it. Older bodybuilder, down and out, goes on steroids trying to relive his glorydays but goes insane.
          I’m still hoping Arnie will do some kind of Machete-like movie.
          Just something brutal and ultra-violent.

  • fannypack aficionado

    Barbara Crampton’s tits (((trigger))) me.

  • CLK

    I feel like these good filmmakers from that time period need to EVOLVE lol. Love Re-Animator and Dolls, Stuart Gordon is a smart man, I’d love to see him make a 21st century-esque, 21st century film hahaha.

    Where are you?

    • Daniel Baldwin

      It’s not for lack of effort. They’re almost all unable to get financing these days. John Carpenter, Stuart Gordon, Tobe Hooper, George A. Romero, etc. All have attempted to get numerous films off the ground in the past decade, but to no avail. Even someone like Cronenberg, who moved outside the genre long ago, is having trouble as well.

  • diapers

    Can we get Herbert West and Dan Cain to just move into Trump tower and start doing what they do best? Now? Please?? SMH.

  • Daniel Baldwin

    If memory serves, Gordon also wanted Barbara Crampton as the Laura Bush surrogate and George Wendt as Dick Cheney one.

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