Blu-Ray Review – Bride Of Re-Animator

Naturally given the fact Re-Animator was a huge success both critically and financially it was obvious a sequel was going to come at some point. Stuart Gordon declined to direct for a various of reasons so the first film’s producer Brian Yuzna stepped in who got money because he made a twofer deal for Bride of Re-Animator and Society which he also directed. It came out four years after the original film and it was always planned to be called Bride of Re-Animator; an obvious reference to Bride of Frankenstein.

In the opening Hubert West and Dan Cain are in exile in an unnamed South American country civil war as medics after the events of the last film. They swiftly come back to Miskatonic and Cain still can’t deal with the death of girlfriend Megan from the first film. West is slowly building a re-animated bride for his friend which contains Megan’s heart. A local police officer is investigating what happened at the end of the first films and starts looking into West and Cain. A certain head from the last film also re-emerges and still is holding a grudge again West.

Naturally it’s a hard to follow such an instant cult classic like the original Re-Animator. However due to the majority of the same cast and Yuzna who had a big hand in shaping the original film so for the most part it honours the original. It certainly is somewhat a rehash of the original just with some different gory gags and some are inspired like the eyeball hand. Combs of course is giving it his all and is on top form but he is one of the most unsung B-movie character actors working today after all.

It’s not with its problems the opening ends very abruptly and the ending lacks the charm of the original’s ending and also ends very abruptly without much resolution. The original script included West going to the White House and re-animating dead presidents and other celebrities whose body parts where under the White House. It’s a shame they couldn’t have made that film but due to budget constrains and script problems it was thrown out. It however works as a much better sequel than Yuzna’s other Re-Animator sequel Beyond Re-Animator which the less said about the better. If you’re a fan of the original it’s certainly worth giving the Bride of Re-Animator a shot.

Arrow has released a lavish set which includes a comic book and both the unrated and R-Rated cuts of the film. The set contains not one but three commentary tracks, a newly recorded solo track by Yuzna, a group commentary with Yuzna, Combs and co and finally a commentary by Combs and Abbot. Yuzna is interviewed in a newly filmed piece about the film’s history where he talks openly about some of the problems of the film. The special effects team is interviewed in a new piece as well. Some archival bonus making of footage is included along with some short deleted scenes.

★★★½

Ian Schultz

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