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Bride of Re-Animator

How do you top the silliest, goriest, campiest cheese-fest of a horror movie ever made? You don't — you just make a sequel using the same basic formula and hope that it'll be close to it's equal. Bride of Re-Animator (1991) doesn't quite measure up to the hilarious black-comedy slapstick of 1985's Re-Animator, but there's a still a lot of laughs, cringes, and simply sickening special effects on display. Having gone underground after the previous film's infamous "Miskatonic Massacre," Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) and his partner Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) are working as medics in South America when West's research yields new results — a bigger, better formula for creating life! So they return to Miskatonic Hospital and the scrutiny of a police detective (Claude Earl Jones) who's understandably curious as to why our heroes are the massacre's only two survivors. The two move into a new house — conveniently located next to a crypt full of cadavers — and begin their experiments anew (West's grafting of wholly inappropriate, mismatched, re-animated body parts is both gruesome and fall-down funny, and perhaps the best part of the film.) West's primary goal is a classic — to bring back Cain's dead love by combining her heart with various scavenged body parts. But, naturally, all goes horribly awry and soon the boys are up to their eyeballs in carnage once again. Producer/director Brian Yuzna takes over the directing chores from Re-Animator's Stuart Gordon, but with less success — the gross-out humor is still intact but there's no scare there. David Gale returns as Dr. Carl Hill, perhaps the only character in the history of cinema to be decapitated mid-film and finish the movie alive… and then appear in the sequel as a severed head with wings! Combs' turn as West is a great character, even if the actor does fall squarely into that genre of B-movie performers (like, say, Bruce Campbell) who are so insanely watchable that you don't care about their limited acting chops. Overall, Bride on DVD offers a good, if forgettable, drive-in experience in your own living room. Artisan's bare-bones, full-screen release of Bride of Re-Animator replaces an earlier, fully loaded 1999 release that offered cast/director/crew commentaries, deleted scenes, making-of footage and a whole lot more. This one has… nothing but the film. Zip. Nada. It offers a very clean 1.33:1 transfer of the R-rated cut with equally clean Dolby 2.0 Surround. And that's all you get. Keep-case.
—Dawn Taylor

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