Bride of Re-Animator ★★★

Not entirely sure if this sequel has a reason to exist other than the sweaty, doomed bro-chemistry between Jeffrey Combs and Bruce Abbott, but maybe that's enough. Brian Yuzna isn't afraid to swing for the bleachers when it comes to weirdness, but he's no Stewart Gordon, and the absence of the original director, as well as Barbara Crampton's heart standing in for, err, Mz. Crampton, are probably the biggest strikes against the film. The opening scene sets the tone: A black screen, with David Gale's head set in mid-frame, shrieking for revenge, before suddenly cutting to West alive and 'on the run' with Dr. Dan working in a military hospital in central America without any explanation other than 'being on the run' after the events of the first film. In other words, this thing works best as a sequel if you don't think too much about the original film. That said, Dr Crane DOES get a happy ending of a sort, at last, although it's sort of remarkable his girlfriend in this one, played by Kathleen Kinmont, doesn't have more reservations after the events of the second and third act.

Edit: One other thing that occurred to me-given that, according to the commentary track on the original Re-Animator, David Gale's role in the first Re-Animator led to the break-up of his marriage, it's interesting that he was willing to reprise his role as, err, Dr. Hill's head for a sequel to the original film.

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