Doctor Herbert West returns and fervently pursues his quest for re-animating dead tissue. Aided by his associate Dan Cain, the two doctors return to their professions; yet still deeply obsessed with their bloody work. As a driven inspector keeps on their tail and an old foe seeks revenge, the time for success is dwindling down. Will West and Cains quest prove to be a successful step in science or will it open more doors into a nightmarish situation?
Bride of Re-Animator is a 1990 sci-fi/horror sequel to the 1985 cult film Re-Animator. It was directed by Brian Yuzna who also directed the 1989 body/horror film titled Society. It stars returning actors Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West, Bruce Abbot as Dan Cain, David Gale as Dr. Hill… well.. I suppose it’s Dr. Hill. More like Dr. Hill’s head!
It all starts with a floating head of Dr. Hill. Wait, so now Dr. Hill is back? I thought his head was crushed and his eyes were gauged out? How is it back to it’s former decapitated glory? I don’t get it but I’ll take it. We follow up after the events of Re-Animator with our favorite doctor Herbert West and his associate Dan Cain. Wait a minute! I thought Herbert West dies in the first film? How the crap is he back? I can accept a zombified head that has telepathic powers (I never thought I would say that). But West was just a regular dude. He was wrapped in the intestines and gets taken away in that cloud of gas! So now he’s back in this film? He just miraculously survived and teams back up with Dan? How the.. oh wait, there is a deleted scene from the first film! This is a deleted ending from 1985’s Re-Animator where West clearly makes it out alive. Either take it like this or just adhere to the traditions that people miraculously survive without explanation in horror movies.
“Hill didn’t kill me… he didn’t have the guts!”
So West is alive and doing what he does best! He and Dan are both working as medical doctors in Peru. Using dead soldiers as means to research the antigen mix designed by West. Their mobile hospital is overrun by enemy fighters so West and Cain flee and head back to the USA. There they set up shop at a hospital where West continually steals dead bodies from the morgue. Bringing them back to a lab setup in some old funeral parlor. We also find that the head of Dr. Hill survives and is wanting revenge on West. What happens beyond this point is a medical nightmare. We have a decapitated head flying around with bat wings, more zombies and a disgusting corpse bride.
Bride For A Bride
It wouldn’t be right to do Bride of Frankenstein and then not do Bride of Re-Animator for this marathon. I think any fan of horror can appreciate the connection and re-telling of the Frankenstein story in Re-Animator. It’s a
modern 80’s take on the Frankenstein story so Bride of Re-Animator is kind of the same motif as Bride of Frankenstein. You can’t ignore this movie and why would you? It’s a good horror movie that keeps the Re-Animator chaos going. It just doesn’t serve the horror community any justice to ignore this film.
The Odd Couple
The relationship between Herbert and Dan is confusing. One thinks only with his brain and the other only with his dingus. I’m not kidding, Dan is a raging hard-on in this entire movie. I’m actually trying to figure out what his actual purpose is? West is obviously the brains of the operation and the most clear minded in achieving their goals. Those goals may be insane but at least he’s focused.
Dan is a bumbling moron that thinks like an emo kid. He’s smitten with some patient named Gloria, yet still loves his past dead girlfriend Meg. But then has no problem hooking up with Francesca. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and I don’t even know what value he adds to Herbert West. West says he can’t complete his work without him but I don’t see why. Maybe Dan is like Fritz from the 1931 Frankenstein! Dan is to West as Fritz is to Henry. If you notice Herbert always orders Dan around and manipulates him to do his bidding because he knows Dan is a frat boy dreaming of his next lay. West uses the heart of Meg as a way to lure Dan deeper into his workings. He’s nothing but a hunched back servant only capable in turning knobs and following orders. What a boob.
I love the bride in this movie. She’s this ensemble of body parts from all these various dead women that West has collected. But with the heart of Meg and the head of Gloria. If this was Wests idea of the perfect woman than this dude has some serious female image problems. Personally, I love how the bride is displayed in this film more than in Bride of Frankenstein. She talks, fights and uses the sexiness of her many body parts to try and seduce Dan. Which surprisingly doesn’t work which is odd because Dan is a moron. She denies West as her creator but Dan denies her his love. This is a rare moment where Dan has some sort of clear mind and does what is right. So she flips and rips her heart out as a way of giving Dan her heart. Now that’s love right there. Then she proceeds to rip the rest of her body in pieces. It’s the goriest part of this film and I really love the way it all looks. It’s grotesque and vomit inducing. However I am wondering, was the monster bride Meg or Gloria?
I will admit, it’s not as good as it’s first. Even though it seemed to get berated by critics, nor does it come close to it’s parent film; I’ve always found Bride of Re-Animator to be a great sequel worthy of the first. This movie is for those people that just love Re-Animator and need more of the quirky Herbert West. It’s still the same blood and gore cringe fest.
I will say it’s a little more comical than the first. It may lack the raunchy out of this world moments but it’s still fun. Since it is a “Bride of Frankenstein” kind of film then the goofiness makes sense since Bride of Frankenstein is kind of a goofy playful sequel itself. One scene where Herbert creates the finger creature is reminiscent of Dr. Pretorius showing Dr. Frankenstein his miniatures. Also, Dr. Hill’s head is a little out of place but it is funny and absurd. At one point Hill gets bat wings attached to the side of his head, which gives him the ability to fly. Like the first film things sort of happen out of place and with no reason and that’s why I like the movie.
So yea, Bride of Re-Animator is one of those crazy films worthy of a true horror fans viewing. I’ve come to realize that many don’t even know this film existed! Well guess what! IT DOES AND GUESS WHAT ELSE! There’s another one called Beyond Re-Animator! Now that one is kind of a downer but Bride of Re-Animator is alright in my book. The story may be a little clunky and lost but so was the first film. That’s why I’ve picked Bride of Re-Animator as my day eleven film for Horror Movie Marathon.