Bride of Re-Animator (1990) follows up the fantastic 1985 Stuart Gordon original, Re-Animator. Brian Yunza directs and produces Bride of Re-Animator without the assistance of the great Stuart Gordon. Jeffery Combs reprises the role of the unhinged Dr. Herbert West with Bruce Abbot again playing his reluctant assistant, Dr. Dan Cain. The events of Bride of Re-Animator take place after the infamous Miskatonic Massacre. Incredibly, Dr. Cain and Dr. west managed to avoid arrest for their crimes by fleeing the country. David Gale also returns as Dr. Carl Hill.
To be honest, Malevolent Dark slept on this sequel for quite some time. At the time of it’s release, ourHahaha skepticism concerning horror movies sequels ascended to all-time highs. Coupled with the absence of Stuart Gordon, the sequel couldn’t possibly rise to the occasion, could it?
The Re-Animators, back at Miskatonic University
As the film begins, we find Dr. Herbert West an Dr. Dan Cain assist a military junta in Peru. Dr. West finds ample opportunity to continue his studies on military casualties. After rebels destroy their encampment, the doctors decide to return to Massachusetts and resume their careers at Miskatonic University. Hopefully, nobody at the University remembers the wacky hijinx referred to as the Miskatonic Massacre.
Back at the University, a forensic pathologists stumbles upon a pile of body parts and some left-over re-animation reagent stashed in a freezer. In a rash of poor decision making, the pathologist decides to inject a glowing reagent that he knows nothing about into the disembodied head of Dr. Carl Hill. Dr. Hill’s head revives, and immediately enlists the pathologist in a plan to exact his revenge on Dr. Herbert West. As part of this arrangement, Dr. Hill demands that the doctor to sew a pair of re-animated bat wings to his neck. Oh boy!
“Every love story is special, but ours is my favorite” –Some guy at his wedding
Dr. West discovers the he can assemble the individual living parts of parts of different organisms and create new living things. When he stumbles across the aforementioned freezer of body parts, he locates the heart of Dr. Cain’s former girlfriend, Megan Halsey. Of course, the only things to do now is to assemble a body around the heart so that Dr. Cain can once again feel Megan’s warm embrace. This all sounds perfectly rational to Dr. Cain, so he dives in with both hands to assist. What could go wrong?
All the while, Dr. Cain is developing a love interest in a woman named Francesca, played by Fabiana Udenio.
The team works feverishly to assemble a new body out of parts, but conspicuously, their masterpiece misses a critical appendage, the head. When Gloria, one of Dr. Cain’s favorite patients, dies, Dr. Herbert West steals the head from her corpse in order to complete his work. At first, Dr. Cain reels in disgust, but eventually he is unable to resist West’s motivational speech. “Others dare not dream what we are about to do”.
Finally stitched together, Dr. Cain injects a syringe of reagent deep into the Megan’s cold heart. Minutes, later she stirs. She wakes up bewildered, but as she comes to terms with her new situation she recognizes Dr. Cain. She also immediately becomes jealous of Francesca. The tensions begin to build as Dr. Cain is torn between the two. This ultimately this leads Dr. Cain to receiving the H.P. Lovecraft version of having his car spray-painted with the word “CHEATER”! Just then, Dr. Hill breaks into the scene, throwing rocket-fuel on the fire. The train is off the tracks.
Dr. Hill flies about ridiculously, laughing as his diabolical plan unfolds. In addition to the bat/head hybrid, Dr. Hill also constructed a small army of un-men made from disparate body parts. All the while, the newly risen bride comes literally comes apart in rage. Dr. Cain and Francesca barely escape before the walls collapse around them.
Bride of Re-Animator, Breaking it Down
The Bride of Re-Animator retreads well know territory. Unfortunately, the second time it fails to feel fresh. In an often repeated mistake, the sequel applies a thick layer of cheesy comedy that feel forced most of the time. However, sometimes it lands. At one point Dr. West exclaims, “Make a note of it Dan!!! Tissue Rejection!!!” as the bride rips her own body to pieces. Knee-slapping fun!
The parallels to Bride of Frankenstein are undeniable, but because of the sharp edge and the sociopathic behavior of Dr. Herbert West, it feels like a Hammer style approach. Sure, Jeffery Combs doesn’t have the stately manner of Peter Cushing, but he certainly shares the shameless depravity.
Bride of Re-Animator isn’t all bad. Fans of the first film and fans of B-grade exploitation will find something to appreciate here. Once again, the gore goes over-the-top and the special effects will delight the gore-hounds. However, to enjoy the audience must endure heaping helpings of absurdity along the way. Bride of Re-Animator pales in comparison to its progenitor, but likely has enough guts for avid horror fans.
Bride of Re-Animator (1990) - A Gory Love Story - Malevolent Dark
Director: Brian Yunza
Date Created: 1990-01-01 00:00