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 simply 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 simply 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 Segal 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 found a way to stop his reanimated corpses from becoming flesh-eating zombies.
Does it work? Who are we kidding of course not. 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 Yunza needed the scenes to be firmer and more explicit.) But whom am I kidding? Beyond Re-Animator is surprisingly fun. Watching the severed limbs gambol about is a riot, and lead Jeffery Combs is so good one wonders why he doesn’t make more movies.