Beyond Re-Animator (2003) Review

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Lorena Bobbitt Star Reporter

Beyond Re-Animator (2003): 8 out of 10: If you haven’t seen the original Re-Animator drop what you are doing and go see it. Re-Animator is one the best over the top horror/comedies in existence.

Okay now we got that out of the way, how does this second sequel stack up? While it is no great classic of cinema or even the horror/comedy oeuvre, Beyond Re-Animator is a fun chaotic romp. It contains one of the best prison riots ever filmed, (think Natural Born Killers mixed with Alien 3), the best performance by a severed penis since Street Trash, (I always wondered how severed penises stayed erect. I mean hydraulically speaking… never mind), and another incredible over the top performance by Jeffery Combs.

Combs is the reason to see the film. His Dr. Herbert West is older, wiser and as demented as ever. The movie, after a brief prologue, finds Dr. West doing time in one of those prisons Steven Seagal is always trying to escape from. He is reanimating rats with homemade equipment in his cell. Soon another young protégé comes along and it’s time to continue his experiments on humans. West has stopped his reanimated corpses from becoming flesh-eating zombies.

Does it work? Who are we kidding? Of course it doesn’t. As a result, severed limbs, heads, torsos, and other (see above) rule the day. Throw in gratuitous female nudity, scientific doublespeak, and Day-Glo green syringes and we have ourselves a Re-Animator movie. Now I can nitpick about the somewhat slow beginning, the bad dubbing, and the mishandling of the girlfriend/warden scenes. (The movie seems strangely halfhearted about the implicit sadism between the two characters. The director Brian Yuzna needed the scenes to be firmer and more explicit.) But whom am I kidding? Beyond Re-Animator is fun. Watching the severed limbs gambol about is a riot and lead Jeffrey Combs is so good one wonders why he doesn’t make more movies.

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