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Bride Of Re-Animator (1990)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Movie Connections:
Re-Animator
> Re-Animator (1985)
> Bride Of Re-Animator (1990)
> Beyond Re-Animator (2003)
> Re-Penetrator (2004)
Genres:
Horror, Horror Comedy, Sci-Fi Horror
Director:
Brian Yuzna Brian Yuzna
Starring:
Jeffrey Combs Jeffrey Combs
Bruce Abbott Bruce Abbott
Claude Earl Jones Claude Earl Jones
Fabiana Udenio Fabiana Udenio
David Gale David Gale

6.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Doctors Herbert West and Dan Cain discover the secret to creating human life and proceed to create a perfect woman from dead tissue. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: August 15, 2007
Brian Yuzna is not a director known for quality entertainment. I say this not as a damnation of the man - after all, he is responsible for one of my favorite non-Romero zombie films - but as a simple fact: his career hasn't produced a lot of classics, but he sure has pumped out a good number of cheesefests. Bride of Re-Animator is no different: while it's far from a classic and doesn't even come close to comparing to Stuart Gordon's original film, it does have a lot of entertainment value in that cheesy sort of way.

Eight months have passed since the events in the previous film, and our old pals Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) and Dr. Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) are still working together in an attempt to perfect their regenerating serum. The difference this time around is that West believes that the best way to go about resurrecting a human is to regenerate the individual parts instead of the body as a whole, and with that in mind, he sets out to steal body parts from the local morgue in an attempt to put together the perfect woman... a woman who will play host to Dan's deceased girlfriend's heart, the only part of her that's left after the botched resurrection found at the end of the first film. As usual for our heroes, nothing seems to turn out right, and hampering their research efforts is Dan's new crush Francesca Danelli (Fabiana Udenio) and a detective by the name of Leslie Chapham (Claude Earl Jones) whose wife was one of the resurrected corpses in the previous film. Needless to say, both of these people are quite interested in what's going on in the scientist's laboratory, but they'll soon be the least of their worries as Dr. Carl Hill's head (David Gale) has returned with a little modification... and he's dead-set on revenge.

Yes, some parts of the first film were either ignored or rewritten to better suit the storyline here. I thought Herbert West died? It wasn't shown, but it was heavily implied. I thought Dr. Carl Hill's head was crushed - after all, we did see that happen. What exactly happened with Meg? These questions and more arise as the storyline progresses, but if you can overlook those and just watch the film for what it is - a new adventure featuring all of our favorite characters - you may enjoy it more than most sequels of this nature.

The biggest strength of the movie is the fact that Yuzna keeps the same "splatstick" style of film that Gordon went with in the original as well as the return of both leading actors. Yes, there's still a great deal of black comedy, yes, there's a whole lot of nasty, grue-soaked scenes that will make your mother squirm, and yes, it's still a horror film at its core. This time around, however, there's also a large number of medical oddities to contend with as a result of West's reanimating individual body parts and experimenting with blending them together (a dog with a human arm, for example). Again, it doesn't compare to the original, but fans of that film will probably enjoy this one as well.

Jeffrey Combs is fantastic as usual, and although he may technically share top-billing with Bruce Abbott, there's no question in my mind as to who the real leading man was here. The biggest change to this character is the fact that he's downright insane in this outing: while he may have been a little out of touch with reality in the previous film, he still seemed like a sane man who simply had no boundaries when it came to researching and experimenting. In this film, however, he seems to have forgotten to take his medication, and the result is a man who will stop at absolutely nothing to achieve his goals and who almost takes a sadistic glee in sewing together random body parts and bringing the monstrosity to life with his serum. This is not a bad thing, and in fact, I was quite pleased with this subtle character upgrade as I felt that the "old" Herbert West simply wouldn't have worked for another film.

Overall, it's not as good as the original, but that's to be expected when you're dealing with a classic such as in this case. Fans have to forget a few things that they saw in the first outing and rewrite a little bit of history to accept the events found here, but that's actually not as big a deal as one would think; after all, we couldn't very well have an appropriate sequel without the irreplaceable Herbert West, now could we? We certainly couldn't, and we didn't have to. 7/10.
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