Beyond Re-Animator (2003)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Genres: Horror, Horror Comedy, Prison Film, Sci-Fi Horror
Everyone's favorite mad scientist Herbert West is currently in jail after having state's evidence turned against him by his former assistant, Dan Cain. While being led away, some re-agent falls from his pocket where it is picked up by a young man who was camping nearby. The young man finds Herbert down in his jail cell and learns for himself just what the re-agent is capable of. --IMDb
Brian Yuzna Brian Yuzna
Jeffrey Combs Jeffrey Combs
Tommy Dean Musset Tommy Dean Musset
Jason Barry Jason Barry
Bárbara Elorrieta Bárbara Elorrieta
Elsa Pataky Elsa Pataky
Movie Connections:
> Re-Animator (1985)
> Bride Of Re-Animator (1990)
> Beyond Re-Animator (2003)
> Re-Penetrator (2004)

6.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: August 22, 2007
It only took thirteen years and countless script rewrites, but back in 2003, we finally got another outing with Dr. Herbert West and his regenerating serum. It's sort of sad that a movie like American Pie could somehow manage to spawn a sequel before it even finished its theatrical run, but I guess that's the movie-making business for you.

Anyway, the storyline for this one picks up thirteen years (imagine that!) after the events found in Bride of Re-Animator, and although the ending of that film led us to believe that West (Jeffrey Combs) had perished, that wasn't exactly the case; you see, he actually managed to escape and continue his experiments, but thanks to one of his experiments going particularly wrong and Dr. Dan Cain snitching on him to the authorities, he wound up in jail. There, he continued his experiments with whatever meager resources that he could scrape together, and he believes that he's finally come up with the final solution to conquering death without the nasty side effects.

Fast-forward to present day. Dr. Howard Phillips (Jason Barry) has just joined the prison as the head doctor, and as we soon find out, he has a personal connection to that one experiment that went wrong years ago. However, he's not here to make life a living hell for West: oh no, he's here to help him continue his work. I think we all know how that turns out, and when Phillips' girlfriend Laura (Elsa Pataky) winds up on the wrong side of life, it doesn't take long before the glowing green serum is flowing once again.

It's another adventure with our good friend Dr. West, who is now getting older and seemingly losing a little bit of the thrill that he had while conducting his experiments (although that thrill does show up in spots). It continues in the splatstick spirit of the previous two films, with plenty of sight gags, gross-out moments, and groaners sprinkled throughout the running time. It features a martial arts battle between a rat and a severed penis. I could just end this review right here and give it a high score, but as always, I won't do that to you fine readers.

The one good thing about this film being shot so long after the previous film is that - even though the budget was probably about the same if not less - technology had advanced so much that some great effects could be created even with minimal cash. These gruesome effects were the highlight of the previous film, and once again, they're the main selling point here. While there is some spotty CGI at times, the vast majority of the film relies on practical effects and gooey blood, and it couldn't have looked better. The final showdown between Phillips, West, and (names omitted to avoid spoiling it) was definitely a visual treat, and the penis battle turned out to be one of those scenes that I'll personally remember for quite some time.

The only real downside to the film is the fact that Bruce Abbott chose not to resume his role as West's sidekick for whatever reason, and although Jason Barry was an acceptable stand-in, Abbott's presence was sorely missed. He and Combs play off of one another beautifully in terms of both the acting and the characters, and it just wasn't the same without him. Thankfully, he'll be back in House of Re-Animator unless plans change between now and then, so at least we've got that to look forward to.

Some have said that Brian Yuzna strayed too far away from the source material with his sequels, but I have to disagree there. They're certainly not better than the original film, but they were fun movies which were a lot better than most low-budget sequels to big-name franchises turn out to be. I enjoyed this one just a little bit more than Bride, so for that, I'm going to have to go with an 8/10.
Ginose #1: Ginose - added 08/22/2007, 10:03 AM
I'm not quite sure if there was anything not to like about this movie:
1.) Tasteless Humor. Check.
2.) Decent Amounts of Gore. Check.
3.) Neddles. Check.
4.) A Mutilated Penis. Check.
5.) Tadanobu Asano. X. (Though Jeffery Combs is always a good substitute...)

Damn, so close to being the greatest mvoie ever made... Oh well, almost as good as the classic one, and worthy of a place in every b-horror fan's collection. 9.4/10
Cryptorchild #2: Cryptorchild - added 08/23/2007, 10:21 PM
This is my favorite of the Re-Animator series. It's just so crazy and out there.
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