Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bride of Re-Animator (1989)

...aka: Re-Animator 2

Directed by:
Brian Yuzna

There's something a little off about the tone of this disappointing sequel to Stuart Gordon's cult classic RE-ANIMATOR (1995), though it does have the occasional inspired moment. It barely touches on the H.P. Lovecraft novel (nothing new there), combines black comedy with some rather heavy handed dramatic moments and also seems like it to wants to parody Whale's classic Bride of Frankenstein at times. Insane, obsessive doctor Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs), as stone-cold-serious as ever, and his more straight-laced colleague Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) are back at work splicing together various body parts and still searching for a cure for death. Kathleen Kinmont is the beauty with a heart problem who ends up becoming the "bride," and David Gale's talking severed head is back in action yet again. Some of the fx are great, but this is nowhere near as fun, fresh or entertaining as the first film. It also never explains how Combs' character is back after clearly being killed in the first installment. With Fabiana Udenio as the obligatory love interest, Claude Earl Jones as a policeman and Johnny Legend as a corpse. Richard Band composed the music and the director scripted. It was available in R or un-rated versions with more or less gore, and was followed in 2003 by Beyond Re-Animator, also from Yuzna.

Director Yuzna (who was born in The Philippines) also made the much-better SOCIETY the same year and followed these two films up with the interesting-but-highly-flawed SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT 4: INITIATION (1990) and the surprisingly good Return of the Living Dead III (1993), as well as many other later films.


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