Bride of Re-Animator is a preposterous but fun follow-up to Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator (read the Movies In Focus review). This time Brian Yuzna takes the helm (he also produces and co-writes) which sees doctor buddies Herbert West (Jeffery Combs) and Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot) continue their studies into re-animation.
The Re-Animator films are loosely based on the work of H.P Lovecraft but there’s a lot of Frankenstein woven into Yuzna’s film. Jeffery Combs once again chews the scenery as Herbert West, the psychotic doctor who hasn’t met a deceased body part he didn’t want to bring back to life. Bruce Abbott plays the straight man to Combs’ mad doctor and the pair make a great screen duo. There’s a very strange prologue on Peru, before the duo once again get back to their body snatching tricks at Misatonic University Hospital.
It’s always difficult to make a sequel to a cult horror movie and things get even more dangerous when you replace the original director. However, Yuzna, who was a producer on the original, knows the material and he’s able to keep the tone and temperament of Gordon’s 1985 film. Bride of Re-Animator is all about the gore and Yuzna never scrimps on that. The practical special effects are wonderfully OTT and you can see the how Yuzna’s Society (1989) played a part in the progression of the body horror in this 1990 movie.
Bride of Re-Animator is a sequel that builds on the original and it feels like an organic continuation of the story. It’s a great riff on Frankenstein, while also a rare Lovecraft adaptation. They don’t make them like this anymore.
Arrow Films continues to show that it’s a force to be reckoned with in the boutique DVD/Blu-ray label stakes. Bride of Re-Animator comes stacked with glorious special features. You get a triple set of commentaries – one with Brian Yuzna, Jeffery Combs and the special effects crew, another with Combs and Bruce Abbot and a solo track with Yuzna. This set also comes stacked with documentaries and other assorted goodies. This is how you present cult horror.