Film Review: BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR (1989)

Film Review: BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR (1989)

Apr 11, 2016

IMDb: Bride of Re-Animator (1989)
Director: Brian Yuzna
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Claude Earl Jones

When Brian Yuzna followed up Stuart Gordon’s original masterpiece with Bride of Re-Animator, I wonder if fans were nervous. Today, thanks to the internet, fans get to be as ignorantly vocal as ever when something happens to their favorite films or TV shows. In the case of this series, I think it is a very good thing the directors had similar visions. They are both obviously fans of brutal gore effects and disturbingly absurd imagery. They are both twisted psychopaths in the world of film-making who crossed numerous lines in the creation of their films; therefore, I believe Yuzna was the perfect candidate to carry Gordon’s twisted tale forward.

The new Arrow Video release of Bride of Re-Animator contains three discs. You get Blu-ray and DVD versions of both the R and Unrated versions of the film. You also get some pretty cool documentaries focusing on the creation of the film. I rarely mention the documentaries, but the one about the special effects in this set is pretty cool. I love how it focuses on the effects artists and not just the directors, producers, etc.. The main effects guys in the documentary were Screaming Mad George and Robert Kurtzman. They had great stories to tell about the creation of the film, all of which were accompanied by great behind-the-scenes footage. They explained how they used the original film, The Re-Animator, as inspiration for the sequel. They also provided a look into the creation of their monstrous creatures .

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As far as the film goes, I am a big fan. It keeps the sick and twisted tone of the original and has an absolutely insane final sequence. The end of this film capitalizes on brutality, absurdity, and gore effects from which modern films could still learn a thing or two. Sure, there were times where it felt like they were just re-doing stuff from the original film; but, I can live with that from these movies. This one, like the original, is just too crazy to look away from. It is an amazingly fun and gory ride that came to us towards the end of an era, the splatter-iffic eighties. The new high resolution upgrade definitely effects this splatter factor. The practical effects that looked pretty good on VHS back in the day look comically fake at times. This will surely be good for some viewers and bad for others. I own the R-rated film on VHS and now the unrated version on Blu-ray. I think owning both, in order to compare where we have gone with film technology, is awesome for film collectors and historians.

As far as the actors go, I think Jeffrey Combs was actually better in this film than the first. His character has great one-liners and his physical mannerisms add perfectly to the insanity of his character. I don’t think he ever blinks in this film, which totally adds to the awkwardness of his character. Bruce Abbot is good and David Gale returns to his role with hilarious ferocity. It also stars the crazy hot Fabiana Udenio. She is probably the most well-known for her role as Alotta Fagina in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. She has also appeared in numerous TV shows, most recently the very popular Jane the Virgin.

In the end, I do think this is a must-own film that is getting a great release from Arrow Video. The budget guys out there have plenty of opportunity to find this film. There are even very affordable VHS copies out there. The hard core collector, however, will find that this specific box set will be well worth the extra Arrow Video money.

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