Bride of Re-Animator (1989)
By: David Michael Brown on April 4, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 1.85:1 (Non-anamorphic). English 2.0. 96 minutes
The Movie
Director: Brian Yuzna
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Claude Earl Jones, David Gale, Bruce Abbot
Screenplay: Keith, Rick Fry, Brian Yuzna
Country: USA
The original Re-animator was always going to be a tough act to follow. Re-animator director Stuart Gordon had gone on to make the wonderful From Beyond which had suffered from studio interference and censorship issues but Dolls and Fortress were just dreadful. Rather than making Bride of Re-animator he handed the directorial reigns to producer Brian Yuzna. On the films original release the sequel was greeted with indifference from critics and audiences alike, this reviewer included. Watching the film again on DVD now was a surprisingly entertaining experience. I've no idea how much was cut on the films original British release but Umbrellas DVD is gory fun.

Jeffrey Combs once again plays the demented scientist Dr. Herbert West ably assisted by his hapless friend and fellow practitioner Dr. Dan Caine played by Bruce Abbot. This time the pair are trying to create the perfect women from various body parts from Cain's dead ex-girlfriend and a hooker. Their arch-enemy Dr Hill, once again played with venomous relish by David Gale, returns as a winged flying severed head out for revenge. Hill re-animates an army of West's former medical experiments to destroy their creator. He has never forgotten that West is the man responsible for his decapitation.

The make up effects are provided by Screaming Mad George, the man who gave us the orgiastic body melding finale for Yuzna's Society. They lack the gritty realism of the first film but add a suitably bizarre imagination to the mix, especially the eyeball and severed fingers creation.

The comparisons with The Bride of Frankenstein are obvious. West even utters the immortal line "She's Alive." Not that Yuzna's sequel could dream of being held in the same regards as James Whales classic Universal horror.
The picture is very blurry and a bit dark; it pretty much looks like all low budget horror film video transfers from the era. Obviously it can't compare with the THX authorized transfer of the original Re-animator released in the US but this should have been given better treatment.
The stereo mix is clear and punchy without really impressing.
Extra Features
Audio commentaries make up the bulk of the extras; Jeffrey Combs and Bruce Abbot reminiscing about the making of the film in an entertaining chat provide the first. Director and producer Brian Yuzna, Effects artists Howard Berger, John Beuchler, Mike Deak, Screaming Mad George, Bob Kertzman, Tom Rainone and Combs, give the second.

We also get a deleted scene entitled Meg is Re-animated which doesn't really add much to the film but is an interesting nonetheless. Two behind the scenes segments highlight the special effects of the film, one looks at the film's "Carnival Sequence" and the extensive make up involved and the other "Getting Ahead in Horror" is a general look at the making of an effects laden horror film.

As always we finish off with the theatrical trailer and a selection of Umbrella Propaganda.
The Verdict
Some claim that the film is a mere rehash of Gordon's fabulous original but on second viewing it's an entertaining Eighties horror movie featuring all that was good and bad with the horror genre during the decade. The DVD embellishes things with a nice selection of extras, many shot at time of filming. A worthwhile local purchase for fans of the West and his glowing green serum.
Movie Score
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