Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bride of Re-Animator

I had some trepidations about watching this film, as it’s not only a sequel to a film I greatly enjoy, but a sequel directed by Brian Yuzna, who already had a track record with me for making poor follow-ups to beloved horror movies with Return of the Living Dead 3. Fortunately, he really stepped up his game for this film (and for the third in the series, which I’ll get to tomorrow), making it, if not quite as good as the original, pretty damn close.

Set eight months after the blood-soaked ending to the original film, this reassembles the surviving cast members (and some not-so-much survivors) as Dr. Herbert West (played beautifully by Jeffrey Combs) and Dr. Dan Cain have continued their experiments at bringing the dead back to life. These experiments have taken a rather odd turn, however, as West is now attempting to bring back Cain’s dead girlfriend by way of Frankenstein, assembling a Greatest Hits version of a female body to bring her back in. Complicating this are the still re-animated bodies that West’s nemesis, the likewise re-animated Dr. Hill, revived at the climax of the original film, a returning Dr. Hill himself, still without a body (but not without a way of getting around), and an unstable cop whose dead wife is one of the revived. Along the way, there are a number of great sight gags that one would expect from a Re-Animator film, such as West’s early experiments involving, say, an arm and leg sewn back to back that, when revived, try to show their displeasure, or when he tries to bring back a dead dog, but has to improvise a bit over its missing limb. Or Dr. Hill’s eventual means of mobility despite having long lost his body. Or…but I could go on like this forever.

It’s a really fun movie, all in all. The only complaint I really have with it has nothing to do with the movie itself, but with the rather slapdash DVD. It’s full screen only, and the volume control is fairly poor, with scenes of dialogue irritatingly quiet while other scenes are close to deafening, requiring you to be fairly quick on the trigger with the remote. Still, that grievance aside, it’s a really fun, funny movie, and you should definitely check it out.

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