First of all, if you’re a fan of campy horror movies and you have no idea who The Re-Animator is, you’re missing out. Inspired by a short story written by the master of horror H.P. Lovecraft, The Re-Animator dealt with zombies as created by man, or one man, a mad doctor named Herbert West, played by the amazing Jeffrey Combs.
A movie that has a huge cult following, it wasn’t just cheesy campiness. It was a good story with above B-flick standards acting and directing. The action in the movie, as the gore, was over the top and welcomed. The perfect one-liners and no-holds-barred life-force of this movie helped make it one of the greatest films ever made.
And then four years later there was Bride Of Re-Animator. It held onto what made the first movie great and took it one step further across the line of over the top horror movie campiness. A sequel so perfectly suited for the greatness of the first movie that a third movie was inevitable. Fans waited for it. Rumors swirled. Yet the fans continued to wait, but nothing happened.
Finally, in 2003 the fans got what they had patiently been waiting for, Beyond Re-Animator.
Herbert West is turned in by his former assistant from the first two films. Unfortunately Bruce Abbott doesn’t make an appearance in this, but Jeffrey Combs steals the show once again and delivers an amazing performance. Just like with the first two films, almost everybody else in the movie is just a regular B-movie actor, but they deliver well and help keep the movie worthy of a watch.
Serving time in jail, Herbert begins to start his experiments again, only this time he’s come up with a new treatment for those injected with his reanimating fluid, and he’s willing to try it out on anybody and anything.
Once again things get out of control and a whole lot of people, both alive and reanimated, do a whole lot of killing in very gory fashion. Beyond Re-Animator also delivers another great showdown to finish off the film and just like the two before it, after it’s over you’re left feeling almost abused from seeing so much over the top craziness. This entire series is a set of movies that will sit with you for a long time after watching them, which is one of the reasons the first two have been cult classics since the mid 80s, and the legion of fans are still just as dedicated to the series as ever before.
Rumors are once again circulating about another movie, especially since Beyond Re-Animator ended the way it did. However, the only real rumors I’ve read regarding a fourth include story ideas that I had heard the third would be about before it came out. This one would be called “House Of Re-Animator” and would involve Herbert West going to the White House to reanimate a dead Vice President who resembled Dick Cheney.
Then there was an interview with Jeffrey Combs on the subject, and an inevitable question was asked. Will there be a reboot?
“Here’s what I think will happen. The name is so well-known, it’s a cult classic, that someone at some point give Brian a lot of money for the title, and they’ll reboot it, thinking they can just tell the same story again, but with younger, fresher actors. Re-do it, update it, and we know what that will have to do.” – Jeffrey Combs, Source
So we’ll see. Brian Yuzna, director and producer of the films (and owner of the franchise) has mentioned that he has an idea for a fourth titled Isle Of Re-Animator, which would be a take on The Island of Doctor Moreau. Nothing official has been said though, but Screen Rant reported 5 years ago that a reboot was in the works and it was going to be a 3D movie, even though some involved thought it was a bad idea..
While nothing, for me at least, will ever top the first two films, which I consider to be neck and neck with each other as far as greatness goes, the third gets very close to their awesomeness and I think it’s more than a suitable third movie to the franchise. I strongly suggest you check this out if you’re a fan of the first two films.
I give this movie 9 of 10 stars.