Bride of Re-Animator / Beyond Re-Animator

Bride of Re-Animator

Some months after the events at Miskatonic University Hospital, Herbert West and Dr. Dan Cain are in Peru during a civil war.  Helping with the injured is very convenient as the experiments on bringing things back to life can continue.  Due to an incident they have to return home and start work again at the hospital (what is wrong with their HR department employing them again after what happened in the first film?)  West continues his work reanimating body parts which he ‘borrows’ from the morgue, then they stumble upon the heart of Dan’s love Megan and they plan to bring her back to life in a fresh body.  Unfortunately another doctor discovers Herbert’s infamous green serum and and reanimates Dr. Hill’s severed head which gets some bat wings attached, making him able to fly around and look menacing.

There’s also a cop prowling around poking his oar in business he shouldn’t, but it’s Dr. Hill coming back as a flying head which is completely barmy and brilliant at the same time.  With the new ‘Megan’ created and Hill commanding zombies with his hypnotic powers, it’s a fight to the death (or life) at the film’s climax.

Bride of Reanimator isn’t as good as the original but seeing Stuart Gordon’s masterpiece was practically flawless, Brian Yuzna does a pretty incredible job bringing West, Cain and Hill back on screen.  As with the first film Jeffrey Combs is magnificent as West but the late David Gale now playing a flying head hams it right up especially in the opening sequence before the credits.

Beyond Re-Animator

A few years later Brian Yuzna was working in Spain and had formed the Fantastic Factory, a genre label with Filmax.  It was time for Herbert West to get his syringe out again so Beyond Re-Animator was born.

Herbert is incarcerated in Arkham Prison after in a throwaway line, Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot’s character) had turned State’s evidence on him.  However, he is still up to old experiments in the confines of his cell.

In a pre credits sequence one of West’s resurrected corpses escapes and kills a local teenager and many years later that teenager’s younger brother gets himself employed as the prison doctor (named Howard Phillips in a nice nod to Lovecraft) as he is obsessed with the reanimating agent and wants to assist Herbert.

Of course nothing goes to plan and throw in a sadistic warden, a journalist played by Elsa Pataky (in an early role and long before she became Mrs. Chris Hemsworth) and a selection of dirt bag prisoners it’s goes very wrong in the wonderfully gory and bonkers finale.

With no Dr. Hill this time around, Yuzna has found a more than suitable replacement in Warden Brando played by Spanish thespian Simon Andreu.  The Warden is an evil bastard, a lecher and general all-round sadomasochist.  Even more scarier is that he looks like one of The Chuckle Brothers.  Jeffrey Combs turns in another great performance as West in a role he fits now like a comfortable pair of pants, of course this you would expect.  The movie even features a nurse dressed in the most impropriate fashion for a MALE prison with a plunging neckline and ample bosom.  Makes going to the infirmary a whole easier I suppose?

A real blast and just as much fun as ‘Bride’.  So what we have here is two terrific horrors with some comedy and gore of the highest order.  Those kind people at Umbrella have rammed the discs full with stacks of extras including documentaries, interviews, FX featurettes, deleted scenes and trailers.  Both presentations of the films i.e. sound and picture are pretty decent as well considering their low’s budget origins.

An awesome double disc pack  with ‘Beyond’ getting it’s worldwide debut on Blu-ray ahead of Veston’s US release.

  • Starring Jeffrey Combs  (Both) Bruce Abbot  Kathleen Kinmont  David Gale (Bride)  Elsa Pataky  Jason Barry  Santiago Segura (Beyond)
  • Director Brian Yuzna
  • Distributor Umbrella Entertainment