Beyond Re-Animator

It’s been 13 years since Bride of the Re-Animator and technology has come a long long way since Re-Animator made a huge impact on the horror scene in 1985. The long wait for the third film has finally come to an end for me, and even better, I got to see the full version, not the one that will be playing on the Sci-Fi Channel next weekend.

When I finished watching Brian Yuzna’s long-awaited Beyond Re-Animator, I was left thinking one thing, aren’t sequels supposed to be bigger and better? Especially since it’s been 13 years since the last one?

José Manuel Gómez’s writes an interesting story that takes place 13 years after Bride of the Re-Animator and takes the third film in the franchise to new heights when it comes to ideas. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) is now in prison after his former assistant turned evidence in against him. He’s still up to his same old tricks, and has now made a new discovery, which has become the evolution in the Re-Animator series. He has found a substance in every living being called “nano-plasm.” When electrocuted, this nano-plasm all moves into the brain and Doctor West can extract it. What this nano-plasm does, you’ll just have to wait and see! While he is experimenting with his newest discovery, Howard Philips (Jason Barry) is on a mission to find the doctor for answers to his sisters death and more. There are many interesting plot turns, but what ruins Beyond Re-Animator is the opposite of what make the story good, the deterioration of the special FX.

Re-Animator was revolutionary, ground-breaking, extraordinary and unbelievable, but Beyond Re-Animator sinks down a few levels, actually a lot of levels. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some awesome things in this flick, you’ve got half torso corpses chasing people on their hands, you’ve got inmates overdosing on the drug and melting; there are all sorts of great things to get your heart pumping. But once again, where are the tentacles and the insane amounts of blood? So much potential wasted, I just don’t understand, if you know it’s going to be rated R, and going straight to video, why would you hold back? I think Yuzna just forgot to watch the first Re-Animator before he made this third flick, why else would he forget the things that make a Re-Animator film what it is? If he was holding back, he would’nt have had a rat chewing on a mans bitten off penis during five separate shots! Yeah you heard me, I full penis shown five separate times, on five separate occasions! But here’s the kicker, Yuzna chooses to show a penis, but when a nurse gets her breast bitten off, they cut to another scene only implying what happened. I just don’t understand?

The acting was quite mixed, as always Jeffrey Combs did a stellar job as Doctor Herbert West and Simon Andreu (Warden Brando) was no exception. Both put together a performance that had you believing in what you were seeing. But of course, nothing is perfect, and the other cast members just evened out the mix, especially Laura Olney (Elsa Pataky) who couldn’t keep her accent going the entire film.

Yuzna did a pretty decent job directing, but between the directing and the editing, there were some problems. For one, the guy with the half torso, you could see the wire holding him up! Didn’t they add the “spider-walk scene” in the Exorcist because technology now enables us to remove wires from the screen? So why did I see em? It’s things like that which ruin a movie experience for me.

Personally, I would highly advise waiting to see this film until it’s on DVD. I know it’s showing on the Sci-Fi Channel on October 4th, but I don’t know how much they are going to edit out. There isn’t enough blood in there to satisfy me now, can you imagine Beyond Re-Animator edited down for TV? Either way, it’s a fun movie, but nothing special, I was pretty let down. All I could think about at the end was I hope if they make the fourth film, they don’t blow it, because the White House idea is amazing!

As for the DVD, the score was really freaking cheesy, and it really took away from the 5.1 Surround, but it was presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1, which always kicks ass. The interactive menu’s are really feaking cool and creepy, which is always a nice bonus.

But that music video, holy crap, and I mean crap… ugggh. “Move your dead bones,” a cheesy techno song you’d heard in the early 90’s, Blueteamno should be writing music for these flicks, how much do these guys make?

One nice thing though is the 17 minute making of featurette, which like I always say, is a pleasent surprise on a direct to video DVD. Usually you get nothing, but at least there’s an added bonus to this DVD if you’re a hard core “Re-Animator” fan.

This movie and DVD is pretty much marketed for “Re-Animator” fans, anyone else will be heavily disappointed.

Check out Lions Gate Films for all your independent horror needs and watch for Beyond Re-Animator on video December 30th, pre-order it by clicking the amazon logo at the bottom.

Official Score