Open main menu

The Resurrected (also known as The Ancestor and Shatterbrain[1]) is a 1991 American horror film directed by Dan O'Bannon, and starring John Terry, Jane Sibbett, Chris Sarandon and Robert Romanus. It is an adaptation of the H. P. Lovecraft novella The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Originally intended for a theatrical release, the film was shown at various film festivals before going direct to video in 1992.

The Resurrected
Original poster
Directed byDan O'Bannon
Produced byMark Borde
Kenneth Raich
Written byBrent V. Friedman
StarringJohn Terry
Jane Sibbett
Chris Sarandon
Robert Romanus
Music byRichard Band
CinematographyIrv Goodnoff
Edited byRussell Livingstone
Distributed byScotti Bros. Pictures
Live Home Video
Release date
  • October 1, 1991 (1991-10-01) (Spain; Sitges Film Festival)
  • April 15, 1992 (1992-04-15) (video)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$5,000,000 est.



Claire Ward (Sibbett) hires private investigator John March (Terry) to look into the increasingly bizarre activities of her husband Charles Dexter Ward (Sarandon). Ward has become obsessed with the occult practices of raising the dead once used by his ancestor Joseph Curwen (Sarandon in a dual role). As the investigators dig deeper, they discover that Ward is performing a series of grisly experiments in an effort to actually resurrect his long-dead relative Curwen.


Production historyEdit

Director O'Bannon and screenwriter Brent V. Friedman had developed the Lovecraft property independently of each other. Friedman's version of the script was titled Shatterbrain. While Friedman receives sole writing credit, O'Bannon did incorporate some of his own ideas into the project.[1] O'Bannon's original title for the film was The Ancestor, which was later changed to The Resurrected after being re-cut and altered by the studio for theatrical release.[1]

Critical receptionEdit

In their book Lurker in the Lobby: A Guide to the Cinema of H. P. Lovecraft, Andrew Migliore and John Strysik write: "The Resurrected is the best serious Lovecraftian screen adaptation to date, with a solid cast, decent script, inventive direction, and excellent special effects that do justice to one of [Lovecraft's] darker tales."[2]


The film was given a short-lived theatrical release on June 1, 1991.[3] It was then released direct to video on April 15, 1992 by Live Home Video in the United States. It was later released on DVD internationally through Metro Goldwyn Mayer in 2003, and in the United States through Lionsgate in 2005.


  1. ^ a b c Smith, Dan G. (2005). H.P. Lovecraft in Popular Culture: The Works and Their Adaptations in Film, Television, Comics, Music and Games. McFarland. pp. 93–7. ISBN 978-0786420919.
  2. ^ Migliore, Andrew; Strysik, John (February 1, 2006). Lurker in the Lobby: A Guide to the Cinema of H. P. Lovecraft. Night Shade Books. ISBN 978-1892389350.
  3. ^ "The Resurrected". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-01-31.

External linksEdit