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Beyond Re-animator
2003 - Rated R for strong graphic violence/gore, sexual content and language. - 96 Mins.
Director: Brian Yuzna
Producer: Julio Fernández, Brian Yuzna
Written By: José Manuel Gómez
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Jason Barry, Elsa Pataky, Enrique Arce, Nico Baixas, Lolo Herrero
Review by: James O'Ehley
   
If you ever wanted to see a rodent engaged in a boxing match with a severed zombie penis, then “Beyond Re-animator” is the movie for you . . .

“Beyond Re-animator” is, of course, the second sequel to the now cult favorite “Re-animator” (1985). The first sequel was “Bride of Re-animator”, made in 1990. They sure strike while the iron is hot with this particular movie franchise . . .

Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs reprising his role from the other two films) is busy serving 13 years in a maximum security prison when the prison gets a new medical doctor. The young new doctor (played by Jason Barry) is however more interested in West’s original handiwork, which got him into prison in the first place, namely his so-called ‘illegal experiments’.

You see West injected green goo into corpses, which brought them back to life - the only problem being that they have turned into psychopathic raging homicidal zombie killers (read that one aloud fast) in the process. West is unperturbed however, and together they continue these experiments in secret behind the prison walls.

Being set in a prison there is of course a sadistic evil warden, named Brando in this case. (Ha! They wish!) There is also a leggy blonde journalist sneaking around and, since this movie was shot for cheap in Spain by Brian Yuzna (who produced the first film and directed the second one), there are loads of Spanish-looking extras with Spanish accents. Especially for a movie set in an unspecified American locale . . .

In fact, the movie seems to be set in some weird alternate universe where details such as cars, accents, locales, etc. just seem off . . .

However, before you can say mad over-the-top cartoon-like finale, there is a prison riot with a lot of zombies being resurrected from the dead. We have exploding bodies, severed heads, torsos (and certain male appendages), with blood splattering all over the place. That the film has a gallows sense of humor which helps soften the impact of the onscreen violence, but sensitive souls should stay away.

Unfortunately I have never seen the original “Re-animator”, so I can’t make any judgments whether “Beyond Re-animator” is a worthy sequel that would please hard core fans of the original (it probably won’t). I know not having seen the original film is akin to admitting that you have never seen “Evil Dead 2” and actually liking Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” in some circles, but what yer gonna do?

Is it necessary to have seen the previous two films? Not really, I had no problem getting the gist of what was happening, but I suspect that it will help if you did see the original film since “Beyond Re-animator” only fills in the sketchiest of details.

Should people who haven’t seen “Re-animator” check this movie out? Not if they’re not into horror films, no.

“Beyond Re-animator” is gory B-movie stuff, all right, but better done than most straight-to-video horror fare. Effects and make-up are decently done and deranged in an inspired way. The acting is bad, and the excellent Jeffrey Combs is criminally underutilized. The pace is fast and, like I said, its black sense of humor helps even though one suspects that it could have been better.

And now, I’d like to borrow some literary devices from certain fellow reviewers and add the following:

What I have learned from watching this movie: Even though one’s ear has just been bitten off by a deranged zombie prisoner (resembling Michael Berryman of “Hills Have Eyes” fame), one would still be, uhm, up to some oral sex . . .

Number of naked breasts: 3.

Times one spots the sound recording microphone bobbing at the top of the picture frame: 4.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

 
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