Uncovering Curiosities: Brian Yuzna’s BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR

Bride of Re-Animator is a preposterous but fun 1990 follow-up to Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator. 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.