Wednesday, 2 May 2012
DVD: BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR (2003)
Anyone who knows me at all knows I'm a big fan of over the top horror movies with the original Re-Animator and its sequel Bride of Re-Animator high up on the list (which I've never actually sat down and worked out). This, the third in the series, came out about 13 years after Bride and was made in Spain with a mostly Spanish cast and Yuzna in the director's chair. Everyone familiar with the series pretty much accepts that it's the weakest but that doesn't mean it doesn't have anything to offer. For a start it's got the wonderful Jeffrey Combs a cult horror figure on a par with Bruce Campbell.
Unfortunately I couldn't find any more striking images like the bisected man swinging along bars chasing after our anti-hero. Or of the fight between the rat and the re-animated severed penis.
It opens with one of Dr Herbert West's failed experiments (no lower jaw but he still tries to drink from a carton of milk with messy results) killing a young woman and watched her younger brother who picks up a syringe of the glowing green re-animator serum dropped by West as he's hauled away by the police.
Fifteen years later a young doctor (the grown up younger brother and played by Jason Barry) arrives at a seedy prison to be the new doctor but actually to work with doctor prisoner West (the inimitable Jeffrey Combs) to refine the re-animator serum and help the world. The inmates are a bunch of psychos and the warden -an authoritarian lecherous sadist- is far worse than any of them -and a fine vile performance indeed from Simon Andreu who sensibly sails over the top at every opportunity. Also on the scene is Laura Olney (Elsa Pataky) a young journalist trying to do a piece on the prison. She starts out relatively mousy and ends up, well, see the picture above. In between, she and the young doctor become close. (Surprise fact: she's married to the younger Chris Hemsworth aka Thor.)
Needless to say, anything involving the purely self-serving Herbert West goes disastrously, comically, violently, and gorily wrong. Just about everyone in the prison ends up injected with the re-animator serum and the serum which was designed to, but doesn't, stop the side-effects. Blood and body parts litter the screen. Our heroine develops a secondary psychopathic personality and if you wondered how the re-animated penis ended up on its own with only a hungry rat for company I think you make a good guess. The warden, partly infused with a rat, roams around alternately beating people to death and trying to screw the heroine and if you wondered whose penis it was.... And everyone gets their deserts, both just and unjust except, for guess who who wanders off into the night in search of another sequel.
So you can see why I enjoyed it.
The recent DVD from Arrow comes with a 50 minute interview with Brian Yuzna about the series, a booklet which features an interview Jeffrey Combs, and other bits of stuff. Nice package.