Bride of Re-Animator begins with eminent doctors Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) and Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) out and about somewhere unspecified in a war, coming to the end of their tour, volunteering as medics, with West still up to his old tricks with his luminous green liquid that brings anything back to life.
Soldiers are dying and he wants to bring them back, which is very ‘Universal Soldier‘, but rather than reanimating the dead, the madman wants to create life, making this sequel very much like a recreation of Frankenstein’s monster.
I really thought I’d seen the first one before watching this, and then realised I hadn’t, so after this, I went back and watched the original. And since that 1985 film mentions that West had previously worked with Hans Gruber, is that the same one who later turned up in Die Hard? Well, it seems that Hans Gruber to Germans is as common as John Smith to the English, so possibly not. However, it was amusing to hear the name crop up.
Going back to the Miskatonic Medical School in Arkham, Massachussets, this time round, Dan has grown an ’80s mullet and there’s remains from a massacre eight months earlier which aren’t decaying, so the dead are not quite dead, and with that green stuff still hanging around, it doesn’t take much to work out what’s caused it.
In this film, there’s a creature with five fingers and an eye, a snooty Lt sniffing around, a hot chick in Francesca (Fabiana Udenio – best known to me as Alotta Fagina in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery), and I felt so sorry for the bat having its wings cut off, even though it wasn’t real. With films like this and Killer Klowns From Outer Space, it shows just how brilliant real special effects can be, and how lazy modern films have become as they rely on CGI way too often.
In addition, there’s also the return of Dr Hill (David Gale)… but how? His body was toast in the first one and his head was squashed. Pah! Details, details!
Overall, Bride of Re-Animator is a a huge amount of fun and so much more enjoyable than the first one. That seemed to take forever to get going and spent more time teasing at what might come before it finally got to show anything. This sequel just gets on with it. Society‘s Screaming Mad George clearly had a hand in that, not least with the final scene where all hell breaks loose and random limbs are being meshed together in a quite disgusting fashion. There’s also a lot more humour in this sequel and a lot more played for laughs, and the Frankenstein-style creation really did look like it could’ve been made exactly how it came across.
Go to page 2 for the presentation and the extras.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.