on June 17, 2004
This movie had a very captivating plot and was overall a pleasure to view, however in the plot there were some pretty major holes and some of the acting was downright dreadful.
The plot is simple. A new doctor comes to work at the hospital where Dr. West is incarcerated. Howard the new doctor, and probably a new actor because his acting was downright dreadful and at times painful to watch (His reaction after the girl that he likes dies is just so fake); Dr. West and Howard then set up the lab again and chaos and misfortune ensues.
The gore is good. The reasons for the gore are not always good however. For example when Laura visits the one ressurected patient she walks up close and what not, knowing that he is dangerous. It just didn't make any sense. Another funny thing was that the nurse wore the old fashioned skirt, the kind you could rip off with a strong pull. Right...
However the violence was good and entertaining. The movie got straight to the point and never got off. From the very beginning there was murder, mayhem and chaos.
Recommended to all those that are not too worried about plot holes.
on April 4, 2004
Ever since I began watching the original Re-Animator, I loved it. Soon it became one of my favorite films, and I watched Bride of Re-Animator, which was a horrible sequel. With average expectations I rented Beyond Re-Animator, and let me say I was blown away. It's been thirteen years since Herbert West's former assistant turned state's evidence against him, and sent the doctor to state prison. Now, an eager young doctor wants West as his assistant in the prison after seeing West's work during the final Miskatonic misexperiment. Soon, the doctor is the assistant and West is the doctor as he continues experimentation into re-animation of the dead: only this time, it's one step higher ... Jeffrey Combs is better than ever as the mad West, giving us a terrific performance. The rest of the cast is very good as well; Brian Yuzna's direction has improved, and the script is great; there's also a cool score by Xavier Cappellas. Beyond Re-Animator is one of my favorite films, and one of the best horror films of 2003. It features some quite funny comedy, mixed with great, gory horror in the tradition of the first film. It is completely entertaining and features some very nice story ideas. Think of it as Shawshank Redemption with re-animation and Dr. West - oh, forget it. I found that the film was almost as good as the first Re-Animator, and way above the Bride. It's great to
have West back again. And the ending is terrific - fans of the first film can sit back and smile with satisfaction ...I would highly recommend Beyond Re-Animator to any horror fan, and it is essential for fans of the firstfilm. Easily one of my favorite horror films. Be sure to stick around to see the hilarious end fight between a rat and the warden's severed limb.
"Religion has nothing to do with this!"
on March 24, 2004
Finally for all you Re-Animator (1985) fans, a third film has been made. Filmed in Spain. The second film was BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR (1990). Jeffery Combs is back as "Herbert West". Two boys are camping out in the yard. Suddenly Howard (Tommy Dean Musset) tells the other boy a story about someone keeping body parts. He shows him an eye in a cup. Lighning and thunder materialize. The mother (Barbara Elorrietta) in the house is killed by a jawless zombie (Angel Plana) as Howard watches in horror. The zombie was another one of Dr. West's experiments, so Dr. West is arrested and put into the police car. But before he leaves, the vital green luminous shot is left for the boy. Thirteen years later, Howard (Jason Berry) is now a doctor and visit Dr. West in prison. Dr. West still conducts his electrical shock experiments, but this time on rats. When Howard shows Dr. West, the luminous shot he left behind thirteen years ago, he can't wait to see if the luminous serum still works. Of course it does and so the campy zombie fun begins again. Lolo Herrero plays "Sergeant Moncho". Enrique Arce plays "Cabrera". Simon Andreu plays "Warden". DVD includes an "Easter Egg". Click your down button on the remote. When "Lions Gate Films" logo appears, click on this. You will see trailers for Beyond Re-Animator (2003), Cabin Fever, and Faust--Love of the Damned. Extra include "Move Your Dead Bones" music video. Making of Re-Animator documentary.
on March 6, 2004
Director Brian Yunza once again breathes life back into the Re-Animator series with this third installment, Beyond Re-Animator (2003). Shot on location in Spain, the only character to make it from the original movies was Doctor Herbert West (Jeffery Combs). While neither of the sequels was nearly as good as the first, this one, I thought, was a bit better than the last.
The film picks up where the last left off, with one of West's experiments attacking a young woman, which is witnessed by her younger brother. The movie then fast-forwards 14 years, and we see West as an inmate in Arkham prison, performing strange experiments on rats, ones not involving bringing them back from the dead, but having something to do with removing strange energies from their bodies. Seems West is trying to develop a means to not only re-animate the dead, but to also return the subjects back to their normal, mental states. You see, the re-animation formula does work, but the subjects are usually mindless murder machines once brought back from the dead. With his new research, West hopes to counteract this effect, and truly return his once dead subjects back to their normal, pre-par tem selves.
The young boy who so long ago saw his sister attacked by one of West's experiments is now a doctor, and has taken up residency at the prison where West is incarcerated, requesting that West be assigned to assist him. This seemed like a set up so that the doctor could avenge his sister's death, but that wasn't how it was played out, which seemed weird to me. Anyway, West, with the help of his new benefactor, begins his re-animation experiments anew, with a slight twist in his development of returning sentient consciousness to his subjects.
The movie does follow the format of previous films, with West blindly pushing forward with his experimentation, while his reluctant partner follows meekly along, and also a woman getting into the mix. There were some new elements thrown in, but most of the movie stayed similar to the first two. The script was a bit on the weak side, but director Yunza manages to keep things interesting with a copious amount of gore and splatter, but I am sure fans of the visceral would have wanted more. West is always fun to watch, a man driven by his unrelenting desire for knowledge despite the consequences.
As the movie progresses, the inevitable prison riot breaks out, and various 're-animated' test subjects do many nasty things. No big surprises in the end, but a suitable ending leaving the door open for another sequel. There is some nice eye candy (women) to look at in this nearly all Spanish cast, but the acting skills in some of the cast members, men and women, are pretty poor. The special effects, provided by Screaming Mad George, are nice and thoroughly grotesque, and the story does move along, so I would call this movie a successful sequel to the last one, especially since I really didn't have high hopes after seeing Bride of Re-Animator (1990) and hearing another sequel was on the way.
Special features include a director's commentary, a 'making of' featurette, a somewhat goofy music video featuring a techno song and some interesting visuals. There are also a few trailers included, one for this movie and a couple more for other Lion's Gate releases. All in all, not a bad follow up to the sequel, but still nowhere as good as the original film. I do wish someone would release some of Brian Yunza's other films to DVD, like From Beyond (1986) or Crying Freeman (1995).
on March 3, 2004
For fans of the Re-Animator series (and there are many) the wait is finally over. 13 years after directing Bride of Re-Animator Brian Yuzna returns with another satisfying sequel. Beyond Re-Animator opens with an interesting 10-minute prologue that shows one of Herbert West's re-animated corpses getting loose and killing a teenage girl in the suburbs. This sequel is set 13 years after those events where West is now in jail serving a sentence for conspiracy to commit murder. A young doctor by the name of Howard becomes infatuated with West's work and wants to assist him to further his research which attempts to explain rational behaviour.
I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of this sequel especially considering the many negative reviews I read of this film. Yes this was filmed in Spain on a limited budget and none of the same actors (except for Jeffrey Combs) return but what should we expect? 13 years had gone by since the last entry. As long as Combs returns this series will do just fine. He's great here as usual, in his trademark subdued style. I marvel at his ability to play a role of someone who is stone-faced and dead serious but at the same time funny as hell. Combs is surrounded by many other interesting characters including the young doctor, a pretty reporter and the requisite sadistic prison warden although none of them do nearly as good an acting job as he does.
Despite the lower budget he had to work with, Yuzna managed to make this film look very stylish (similarly to Stuart Gordon's Dagon). Almost the entire movie takes place inside of a prison, lending the film a claustrophobic feel. The last half hour is very fast paced and chaotic for as usual West's experiments go horribly wrong. Re-Animated corpses are everywhere, inmates break loose of their cells as prison guards try to fight them off, the whole jail becomes a riot act. Brian Yuzna certainly went all out with this finale. This was a great film that is injected with all the right doses of gore, mayhem and humour that have been trademarks of the series.
on January 30, 2004
Herbert West is a man on the cutting edge of science. He's revolutionized thought as he's walked that fine line between experimentation and "morality," bringing the dead back from the grave and all the while proving that demise is merely a disease and not a functional piece of punctuation added to the end of the living equation. He's taken that a step further, too, proving that life exists in every portion of the whole and that each specimen he collects can be introduced to his re-agent and returned from the grave. A combination of eyes and a few fingers, an organ stew with limbs; he's been there and he's done that with a type of "morbid doodling" that has been interesting to watch. And now, 13 years after he was imprisoned for his achievements, he's found the very thing that tells the cells of the body to grow.
While its not reflected here, this movie actually premiered on the Sci-Fi network months before it was released on VHS or on DVD, and many of these reviews are for it. I know that because I watched it myself, seeing the things that were cut out and left incomplete before checking this page for the DVD release date. When I did I also noticed the lack of gore in some places because it had been cut for television, the lack of a certain part of the male anatomy fighting a rat at the end because it could be considered tasteless, and I also noticed waves in the story. So, those were pitches for an incomplete viewing. Still, the negative reviews do have a point and that is that you might not enjoy this if you don't have the right mindset.
In order to actually enjoy yourself and what this brings to the table, you have to be able to do a few things, and one of those things is to tell yourself that this is the story of Herbert West. While many can't accept this fact, the first in the series has been done, is long gone, and its never going to be done again. Everything after-the-fact is going to seem like a sequel and you aren't going to find a carbon copy of the original. You also aren't going to get the same actors (save the most wondrous one, Jeffrey Combs, who is crucial to this series) and you are going to have some problems due to budget restraints. Still, if you liked the series itself, you should be happy if you've followed the story this far because the third chapter fits in rather well.
While the plot of the movie is a little sketchy if you catch bits and pieces of it and drifts a tad when you get toward the end, its actually not that bad of a theory when you get down to it. As Dr. West points out, the human body loses three to four grams of weight when it dies. According to him, this NPE, or Nano Plasmic Energy, is the very building block of what makes life "alive." It tells the cells to grow, making the byproduct who and what it is because it could very well be the component many dub a soul. Accordingly, NPE can overcome many of the problems Dr. West has had in the past with the reanimated monstrosities he's created, allowing him to endow true life to the things he's returning to this side of living. It works better than the Thorazine he's been using to sedate them, after all, or the straight jackets he's used to keep them in check. The only thing is that he gets excited and, as everyone knows, nothing works exactly as the scientist pictures it because this always has been an on-going process
As far the other portions of the movie goes, it goes from "not that bad" to "impressive, considering the budget."
As far as the gore, there are some good examples of prosthetic effects - considering the amount of gore has been stepped down. You have some blood that rushes out really well, some bodies stripping themselves down to base elements, and you have other "portions" popping up. You do have some cheaper CGI sometimes taking up residence, too, but those aren't really a bother because this is somewhat of a comedy founded in the science of slapstick horror. Besides, a male portion of the anatomy fighting off a rat at the end is pretty funny stuff.
As far as acting goes, you get what you expect. You have some people that are bad, the great Jeffrey Combs that is always on because he is Herbert West to everyone following the series, and you have some people in the middle. Still, your setting, a jailhouse, allows some of that to be overlooked because you aren't exactly expecting a drove of great people in that place.
And, as far as the little Lovecraft joke in the name Howard Phillips, I got a laugh.
Also, watching the commentary "special feature", I noticed that IT'S A CUT MOVIE. With some scenes missing that you are shown in the director's commentary, you know it was cut before having an American release That's always sad, too, and it also shows what a translation to English will often get you - despite the R rating.
If you want to gage whether or not you might like it, you should simply ask yourself what you thought of the last two as a whole and then go from there. You should also ask yourself what you want to see in the movie, what its all about, and if you're going to see the undead or something more try to take place. As I said before, it is the story of Herbert West thirteen years after he's gone to jail, his partner now turned state's evidence, so things are going to be different. Still, Jeffrey Combs is Jeffrey Combs and that, at the end of the day, that sells itself to me.
on January 19, 2004
Reading some of these reviews, I was aghast. Let us not overlook, good people, the fact that a low budget, Spanish film co. named 'Fantastic factory" had to step in and bankroll this project before it could see the light of day. Normally, these are circumstances that spell dire misfortune for any film. However, in the case of this film, it was a blessing. Look, this is the third (and long overdue, I might add ) chapter of a series that was begun in 1985. The gore and the insanity are very much intact in this installment, and the last half hour equals anything the original film had to offer. Yes,as a total and complete fan I'll be the very first to admit that the original "Re-animator" is still the best, but after the dissapointing "Bride of Reanimator", this movie is a breath of fresh air. Jeffrey Combs is terrific, and the arcane situations and visuals more than make up for the fact that the supporting actors are not that talented. Overall, as these films go, this chapter deserves its kudos for being a legitimate, enjoyable coda to a series that has redefined horror for many fans. I tip my hat to all involved!!!
on January 13, 2004
Actual rating *1/2 out of **** = poor.
Plot: After the mess in Bride of Re-Animator, Dr. Herbert West is sent to jail for his re-animation crimes, but that hasn't stopped him from continuing his experiments,which consist of rats and cochroaches.Enter a young doctor,Howard Phillips, from West's past who wants to help Herbert continue his re-animaton work. Of course, West jumps at this opportunity and soon the two are working secretly on new re-agent serums. But trouble begins when a female reporter named Laura, falls for Howard, but also has a secert agenda of her own, a sadistic warden, plus prision inmates who have a grudge against West and would like nothing more then to see our favorite mad scientist dead. All this leads to a bloody climax.
Review: The first words that popped into my head when reviewing this movie is disappointing. I waited thirteen years just to see Herbert West in prision. It feels like a filler sequel ( a sequel inbetween sequels), they should have went with Joe Penny's original script that dealt with a serial killer and had Dan Cain returning ( another big disappointment,no Bruce Abbott),instead we get a rehash of the original.
The romantic love triangle between Howard, Laura and the warden (he has the hots for the Laura)is nothing more then a third-rate photocopy of the love triangle between Dan Cain, Megan Halsey and Dr. Hill.The romance between Howard and Laura is laughable and forced,it also takes up too much time from the movie. Their's also other rehashes abound this stinker of a movie, Howard Phillips is nothing more then a bland Dan Cain carbon copy with a incestuous twist. His logic also made no sense what so ever, he wants to help Dr. West, but at same time he keeps screaming it's wrong what their doing and the warden is nothing more then a cartoon version of Dr. Hill. The less said about Laura, the better.
The only thing that's new in the movie is, West has found a way to control the re-animated experiments called NPE (Nano-Plasmic Engery), it puts the personality of one person into a another ,so the re-animated subject isn't a raving thing. But even that dosen't make any sense. Dr. Hill or the detective in part two didn't need the NPE and they kept their personalities. Even some of zombies in this one never get the NPE, and yet they have their own personalties. So, basically, some of the Re-Animator rules are thrown out the window.
If your expecting a huge zombie showdown in jail,look again it's not happening here. There are just so many opportunities blown here. Even the gore is toned down from first two movies. Nothing in this movie can top the suspensful cat attack in the basement, Melvin the re-animated's attack in the morgue,Dr Hill's head getting chopped off or in Bride of Re-Animator,the finger eyeball spider thing, a dog has a hand where his paw should be, or the mismatched human bodypart monsters that want revenge on Dr. West and those are just a few highlights from both movies.
The only saving grace is Jeffrey Combs, he still has what it takes to play Herbert West. Too bad no one else in this movie is up to his standards. Jason Barry who plays Howard, like I was saying above is blander then can be and has zero chemstry with Combs. Simon Andreu is way too over the top as the warden, How am I supposed to take a cartoon seriously? Elsa Pataky's acting is so bad,it's not even funny. The rest of acting by the Spanish extras (this is supposed to take place in America? Yeah, right) is godawful.
Brian Yuzna's direction is slick and it looks better then your average direct-to-video but tone of the first two movies is gone.The atmosphere is hugely lacking until the last 25 minutes. Because of the prision setting,Photographer Andreu Reubes can't go crazy with any kind lighting until the finale. Believe me, this ruins the movie too.
The only good thing about this movie besides Combs is the music. Xavier Cappellas does a good job with his Spanish orchestra. In fact, if Beyond has anything over Bride, it's the musical score. Don't get me wrong I think Richard Band's electronic score for Bride wasn't bad, but Cappellas's score for this one is better.
The only reason to watch this turkey is for Combs, a couple gore scenes and to listen to the music score. Other wise this isn't even worth watching. The series is now on life support. One more bad sequel and it will be D.O.A.
The DVD contains a widescreen transfer, Dobly Digtial 5.1, a commentry by Director Brian Yuzna, a music video(which is knee-slappingly awful), a behind the scenes featurette(better turn on the subtitles unless you speak Spanish)and a trailer.
Jennifer O'Conner wrote this review not Shauna Schell.
on January 5, 2004
"Beyond Re-Animator" takes place thirteen years after "Bride of Re-Animator". Herbert West has been arrested for the murders and is now serving a long stint in prison. The prison's new doctor is the relative of a victim of one of West's zombies. He immeadiatly takes up with West and begin his experiments anew. Now West has a theory on how to make his zombies controlable, by giving them a "soul", for lack of a better word. This is more gory antics from the makers of the origanl; it is silly and sort of sick (I probably will not be able to site the isntance I have in mind here). Jeffery Combs has grown very comfortable in the role, and he plays it to the hilt. The others are more or less just there to react to West's experiments. The 'R' rated version looks like it had a lot snipped out of it. The gore is there, but the actual violence looks like it was edited out. I don't know what to make of that. I am looking forward to an unrated version, like the first two, maybe it will deserve five stars. I hope that this is the last of the "Re-Animator" movies, it ended perfectly, with West walking off into the fog, disappearing forever.
on December 5, 2003
This movie takes place 13 years after "Bride of Re-animator". The movie starts with a little boy's big sister being killed by one of West his re-animated corpses. West is arrested and we move on 13 years later. He is still experimenting in prison, but of course he doesn't have the necessary ingredients to make his famous green serum that re-animates the dead. In comes Dr. Howard Philips(the same person who's sister was killed,13 years ago) and he still happens to have the injection needle full with the green serum which he found 13 years ago, after West was arrested. West of course takes this opportunity to start experimenting anew. Howard becomes his new assistent. Those 13 years, West has been working on extracting the lifeforce out of several rats, and thinks he might have found the solution to stabilize the corpses after they have been re-animated(after which they always become very aggresive and lose almost all intelligence) with his special serum. Does it work? Yes and no... The movie starts slowly(but is never boring), but builds up to a terrific climax. I really enjoyed this one. I won't say much about the rest of the movie because I don't want to spoil all of the gory fun. Although not as good as the first re-animator, this is still an excellent sequel. Definitely worthy of adding to your DVD collection, especially if you're a fan of these movies.