Blu-ray Review: Bride of Re-Animator

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80%
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Twisted

A fantastic, wickedly-funny 80s-gem restored and repackaged with nothing but love and care by the folks at Arrow Video. A treat for horror fans the world over.

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Producer Brian Yuzna takes the directing reigns for this sequel to the 80s gross-out classic Re-Animator, offering a lot more in the way of dark laughs, but a little less overall structure.

Picking up eight months on from the bloody conclusion of Stuart Gordon’s classic, Bride of Re-Animator (often known as simply Re-Animator 2 in some circles) finds medical renegades and all-round body fetishists Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) and Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) back to their experimental tricks again, attempting to use West’s glowing green reanimation formula to this time create their own perfect woman.

It’s basically Weird Science by-way of Frankenstein, but with a helluva lot more blood, making for a film that, although a little wobbly on the uptake, is still sensationally entertaining. Everything that made Gordon’s original so memorable returns, from Richard Band’s Psychoesque musical theme to the literal buckets of fake goo. It’s a real testament to the 80s’ love-affair with practical effects and bonkers plot-lines.

Severed heads fly around with the help of bat-wings, eyeballs crawl their way across desks by using undead fingers as legs and Jeffrey Combs’s maniacal, truly unsettling glare watches over the whole thing. Fans of the first effort will find a lot more to love here.

Non-Re-Animator conformists will likely hate this sequel just as much however. Yuzna’s ‘if it ain’t broke’ mentality basically translates into a slightly less impressive rehash of the original zombifying, meaning not an awful lot of new ground is covered. To many this won’t be a major problem – it’s still a totally fun laugh-riot – but for those who weren’t wooed by the first in the franchise, there’s nothing to suspect you’ll feel any different about this one.

Current Re-Animator fans though must rejoice, for not only does this Arrow Video release feature the 1989 film in all its 2K restored glory (of very impressive quality), it also includes both the original R-rated release and the completely uncut, Yuzna-approved version. Not to mention 3-discs worth of super detailed special features, ranging from retrospective featurettes, deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s positively insane special effects.

For horror nuts and exploitation fans, this is by all-means a perfect release. It may not quite live up to the ridiculous heights of its classic predecessor, but Bride of Re-Animator is a totally bonkers body-shock farce worthy of your attention entirely in its own right.

Bride of Re-Animator (1989), directed by Brian Yuzna, is released on dual format Blu-ray and DVD by Arrow Video from today. Certificate 18.

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Former Film Editor, Film graduate and general supporter of all things moving-picture related. Accidentally obsessed with Taylor Swift. Long-time Ellen Page fanboy.

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