Beyond Re-Animator (2003)
By: Devon B. on September 16, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Lions Gate (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced) English DD 2.0, English DD 5.1. English, Spanish Subtitles. 95 minutes
The Movie
Director: Brian Yuzna
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Elsa Pataky, Enrique Arce, Jason Barry, Santiago Segura, Simon Andreu
Screenplay: José Manuel Gómez
Music: Xavier Capellas
Country: USA/Spain
Beyond Re-Animator. Rated R? What the fuck is with that? No unrated? Where is the director's cut? This makes me sad. The Re-Animator series has always had unrated and R rated versions, so why someone suddenly thought fans would want only a censored version is beyond me. Maybe they didn't think at all, which seems most likely. Stupid Lions Gate and their stupid R rated DVD. And, yes, I know the R4 is slightly longer, but it's missing the most important extra.

Jeffrey Combs is back, but he seems to have lost Bruce Abbot in this Brian Yuzna directed film. West is in jail because one of his re-animation subjects killed a girl by lightly bumping her into a wall. Over a decade later, the brother of the dead girl becomes the prison doctor at the jail West is in. Seems he's had a hard on for West ever since finding a vial of the green stuff at the scene of his sister's death, and he now wants to work with West. Naturally, West can't have a colleague lacking a romantic interest, so the prison doctor hooks up with a reporter so that he and she can both give unconvincing performances and poorly execute humorous lines. The younger doc begins to think maybe he got more than he planned on when he's fully confronted with West's personality, but is drawn in deeper, and West is excited 'cause he think he's got an idea that might prevent the re-animees from acting all buggy.

Beyond Re-Animator is neither over the top or surprising enough to do the series justice, but perhaps the uncut version is better in this respect. There is an awful lot of severed penis for a cut version, but then I thought the same thing about Street Trash, so what the hell do I know? The FX are generally good, but the dead rat is worse than the cat from the original. Step up, Yuzna, not down! Stuart Gordon is still sorely missed, but here his absence is more painful than with Bride. The film isn't as funny as the prequels, but remains relatively entertaining. The movie contains an abnormal amount of people with Spanish accents for some reason I can't quite figure out…hmmm. But my biggest question is why is West reviving people who are still alive enough to make their eyes flutter? Seems a bit unnecessary, that.
The DVD presents Beyond Re-Animator at approximately 1.85:1, and the print is okay for a low budget film. The image is sharp, but there are quite a few specks. There're a few compression related glitches, as well.
Audio is available in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 mixes. The dialogue is a bit quiet on both tracks, sometimes lost within the score. The dialogue is mostly decipherable, regardless. The 5.1 mix is obviously preferable to the 2.0, providing a richer sound scape.
Extra Features
The DVD has a few extras. There's a making of, which does reveal that maybe the reason the romantic leads were so bad is they were both trying to mask their accents. The film clips are in Spanish, as are most of the interviews (including some with Yuzna). That becomes annoying because you have to use subs, but the subs don't turn off when the making of switches to English. It's an okay featurette, but nothing special. The standard Lions Gate hidden preview is available by selecting their logo on the main menu, and as a bonus you'll also get to see the trailers for Faust and Cabin Fever. Yuzna also does a commentary, which is pleasant enough, but gets a bit slow moving at times for my tastes. Fans of the series will certainly want to give this a listen, though, as will anyone curious about making movies in Spain.

Earning a paragraph all to itself is a video clip by a guy that I guess is named Dr. Re-Animator. The song is called "Move Your Dead Bones," and is a very, very bad techno/house track. I mean bad. Not even a little bit good. If this song were the ying and yang symbol, it would be all black with no little white dot. I don't like to use homosexuality as an insult, but there is no way to describe this but as absolutely gay. This is so queer even John Waters would call it fruity. And the lyrics are just inane: "Party without limits, have sex and don't be blue, freedom is eternal for you, you, you." The vocalist also refers to the reagent as "green colour" and likes to stand in a menacing pose in front of the moon trying to look cool, but instead looks like he's trying to take a crap.
The Verdict
Unless you're absolutely obsessed with the series, this is rental material. It's not awful, but I certainly don't feel the need to make it part of my collection.
Movie Score
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