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Doctor West (Jeffrey Combs) and his colleague Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott)
are at it again: Re-animating corpses, first in a
warzone, where corpses are always in large supply, then, after their camp
gets raided by the enemy, they return to the Miskatonic Hospital, Arkham,
Massachusetts, where they had their little massacre at the end of Re-Animator.
But while Dan soon wants to abandon the experiments and instead
be a compassionate doctor, West even wants to go one step further ... to
create life - and to that end, he steals bodyparts on a regular basis,
sews them together - sometimes in rather bizarre combinations (like the
eye with 5 fingers), injects them with his re-animation serum, waits what
happens and if he grows tired of his creations, he tosses them into the
neihgbouring crypt he has access to through a hole in the wall of his
And to keep Dan aboard, he also steals the heart of Dan's dead
girlfriend Megan (see Re-Animator
for that) and promises to use it in his artificial human. Of course though, West's
bodypart-stealing doesn't go entirely unnoticed, and soon cop Chapman
(Claude Earl Jones), whose wife also died and was re-animated at the end
of Re-Animator, finds him out,
confronts him with his crimes ... and West has to kill him ... but since
for him another corpse is only another opportunity for another experiment, he
revives him again in no time without anticipating the consequences ... and
the cop turns into a homicidal monster
he and Dan and Dan's new girlfriend Francesca (Fabiana Udenio) can
throw him out only with the greatest of efforts.
And while West's experiments to create a new human being (henceforth
called The Bride) does progress quite steadily, and he can again
persuade Dan to help him when he promises him to use the head of Dan's
favourite patient Gloria (Kathleen Kinmont), another situation has
arisen: forensic doctor Graves (Mel Stewart) has found both the head of
doctor Hill (David Gale) - West's arch-enemy in the first Re-Animator
- and a bit of West's re-animation serum, and has given the head an
infusion out of pure curiosity ... of course, Hill's head comes to life
again, takes over the other living deads in the hospital plus living dead cop
Chapman and before long - with attached batwings to move around on its
own, leads an attack on West's house. There, the bride has just
awakened, fallen in love with Dan and is about to kill Francesca out of
jealousy - and then all hell breaks loose ...
Now one has to admit, in direct comparison to Re-Animator,
Bride of the Re-Animator is no match, even if it tries (and
succeeds) to keep the mix of dark humour and visceral horror of the
earlier film - but of course, it's anything but easy to make the sequel to
an almost instant horror classic like Re-Animator
was, and while Bride of the Re-Animator doesn't succeed to live up
to its peer, it's a very honourable effort - because taken on its own
merits, this one is quite a fun movie, borrowing not only from Re-Animator
but also from the likes of Bride
of Frankenstein, and accentuating the slapstick aspects of the
situations the characters are thrown in (and especially Jeffrey Combs is
quite brilliant in these scenes), emphasizing on the absurd and grotesque
of the situations without ever becoming just moronic, throwing in many
great setpieces and often surreal special effects, and in the end making
this one a really enjoyable genre comedy.
Basically, do yourself a favour and don't compare this to the first
one, and you'll have one bloody good time!