Beyond Re-Animator review by The Grim Ringler

DAMN YOU BRIAN YUZNA – spouts the reviewer as he hammers out yet another review. There is an art to making midnight movies. Yes, these are not ‘good’ movies by any stretch and they are made more for the hell of it than for the art of it, but that isn’t a bad thing. Midnight movies are not meant to be art films, they are not meant to change the world, they are meant to entertain, to tantalize, to freak out, and to disgust, and they are sort of an art form of themselves. But dammit, when one is done poorly, especially when it comes from the seeds of a brilliant original film (Re-Animator is a classic midnight movie), well brother, it’s time to take the kid gloves off.

Happening some mysterious number of years after the first two films, Beyond Re-Animator finds medical deviant (deviate if he were Dr. Butcher) Herbert West (the usually good but coasting Jeffrey Combs) up to more of his kooky reanimation experiments. He is captured quickly after one of his ‘patients’, a lovely chap with no lower jaw and a serious Gene Simmons tongue going on, is ‘killed’ after it murders a young woman. Off Herb goes to the pen to serve a sentence and thirteen years later the brother of the dead girl is looking him up, now a doctor himself. So first you must accept that in all those thirteen years Herb didn’t age – which is funny as he should be well into his fifties by now – and that the brother would want to WORK with the bad doctor and not kill him. Ok, fine. Then you have to get past the fact that the nurses in this prison wear low cut skirts and are awfully comfortable around killers and rapists. Swell. So the young kid shows up – who can’t be older than twenty-five yet has a doctor’s cert, sure, and Herb convinces him to help him with his experiments. Throw in a gorgeous but poorly dubbed and weakly written female reporter (darn them, they always ruin the good times) and an awful ‘evil’ prison warden and the yawns keep coming. Eventually the reporter and the young doc get it on, he ‘falls’ for her, she witnesses the warden off an inmate that had been one of Herb’s experiments and is then dispatched herself. Darn. Well, Herb brings her back and adds some new juice to the reanimation goo that is supposed to make her retain her personality. Well, it does, other than the fact that she gets all weird and psycho from moment to moment. No real reason, she just does. The warden walks in on her re-birth and he too is offed only to return – hey, umm, call me crazy, but why reanimate someone you consider a threat? Duh! Well, there’s a prison riot, people are killed, the warden goes batty, Herb goes batty, the girl goes psycho and the movie ends. Eventually. After long, awful, drawn out scenes of badness. How bad? So bad that they actually have a prison inmate that’s the ‘drug’ guy and is so into drugs that he injects the reanimation goo and gets off on it until he O.D.’s and blows up. But even then he still wants that hot green smack. Yes, it’s that bad. But it gets worse. The warden, when reanimated, tries to force the reporter to give him some oral lovin’ but she bites his eleventh finger off (yes, I stole that reference, sue me), which would be fine, if derivative of a dozen other movies (mainly R and R movies), but no, they take it a step further and have some mutant rat cart the dismembered dick off only to have said member KILL the rat during the credits. And in the end everyone dies, the young doc freaks out and has to kill his lady friend, and Herb gets away. Umm, yay?

I cannot even TELL you how much I loathe this film. It’s SO bad that they had Combs re-dub the dopey young doc for half the film, as they musta lost the voices for part of the movie. If I am wrong then dammit that they sure fooled my friend and me. I love the original movie SO much. It’s a very tongue in cheek horror romp and is exactly what it meant to be. The sequel – Bride of Re-Animator – ain’t great but it ain’t bad. It just, well, it just IS. This one though friends is grade A CRAP. The writing is dreadful, the acting is awful, the direction is boring, the gore is mediocre, and the story is worse than bad. And again, the hell of it here is that it COULD have been fun. You have very pretty women in the cast so use them. Sleaze things up. If not that then use the gore more effectively. Why the hell can’t West CHANGE? Why does he, in three movies, grow not ONE iota? Why? Wouldn’t it be more interesting if his character changed? Or got more twisted and perverse? Hell, half the fun of the first two movies was seeing the weird ‘experiments’ that West concocted out of boredom. Medical monsters made just to amuse someone intelligent enough to be bored by life and death. Yet this film has NONE of that. To me, they should have had West in some third-world prison, with the warden doing his bidding due to some sort of Jedi mind stuff, and then you can pick the story up with a prison full of inmates that are his patients. Steal from Dr. Moreau, he won’t care none, he’s watching CATS anyway. Even if this was just a throwaway movie, a paycheck, you can still make it fun and gross and weird and kinky. But no…we get a by the numbers, horrendous direct to video (with a brief stop on the Why-Fi network, I mean Sci-Fi) crap piñata. This movie could not be more shameful for all those involved. Why is it that all these sequels have to be crappy? Why? Who is the genius that reads these scripts and approves them? Sure, they make some coin initially, but the real money is in the return rentals or movie sales. Take a business class you morons! (Note to readers, reviewer was an English major in college and never took a Business class – oh, crap, did I just say that?)

I cannot recommend this film in any capacity. Not even as a movie that’s so bad it’s good. This is just bad. If you grafted Citizen Kane to this crap it’d still only be mediocre at best. If this is how we are going to see old Herb then brother, I hope he stays gone. For all our sakes. I need to wash my eyes out with soap now.


1 out of 10 Jackasses
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