Directed by Brian Yuzna
On the general scale:
On the B-Movie scale:
Okay, so Re-Animator is an ’80s horror classic. Bride of Re-Animator is a poor follow-up on many levels, but it has so much crazy imagery sprinkled throughout its 96 minutes that it’s impossible to simply dismiss it and call it a day. Just about everything good working for the first film is here, but all of it in diminished form, so viewers are left with a less-than-animated sequel that fulfills some insane fantasies of the morbid mind, but forgets to completely entertain along the way.
Eight months after the final events of the first film, our heroes(?) Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) and Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot) have fled to South America. They’re working under the guise of field medics, but are actually continuing their re-animation research. West is never one to rest on his laurels though and has now shifted focus to body part re-animation and the actual creation of completely new life! It can’t be done some would say, but West laughs in the face of the medical profession and proves it is in fact possible!
The main storyline is concerned with the creation of this bride of Re-Animator. This title is a bit off though, as she’s billed as more of a bride to his assistant Cain than to West. He uses her as a way to get what he wants out of Cain multiple times, and like the stupid dolt he is, he is tricked into staying and helping out once more. Like the first film, the first hour or so is devoted to a slow build up of events that lead to the grand finale re-animation in the final act. This gives the film a re-tread feeling which would have been fine if it was interesting, but frankly, it just made me wish I was watching the original again. It has the curse of being boring throughout most of its runtime, with the exception of when they decide to unleash some really inventive, over-the-top moments courtesy of some great FX shots.
There’s also a scene that succeeded in making me question logic & medical practices while laughing all at once. West and Cain are in the hospital they work at, treating a terminal patient. It’s set up early in the film that her body is ravaged with cancer, but her head is perfectly fine! Hmm, perhaps this perfectly fine head could be saved and used for some sort of medical research? Anyway, the patient goes into cardiac arrest and the medical staff tries to revive her. After failed CPR and defibrillator attempts, West steps in and goes to work. He slices into her chest, opens up a hole with a rib spreader and then reaches inside her body. Wow! Is he pumping her heart by hand? I think he is! I was shocked and laughing at the sheer audacity of the idea. Man, if this is what happens when you go to the hospital, I’m staying home!
Come back next Tuesday as we take a look at the final series sequel, Beyond Re-Animator!