Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Claude Earl Jones, Fabiana Udenio, David Gale, Kathleen Kinmont, Mel Stewart, Irene Cagen, Michael Strasser, Mary Sheldon | Written by Rick Fry, Woody Keith | Directed by Brian Yuzna
It’s been almost two years since I reviewed Second Sight’s release of Re-Animator on Blu-ray. Now we have the release of Bride of Re-Animator – this time from the UK’s kings of cult, Arrow Video. Will they give this gore filled classic the treatment it deserves?
Bride of Re-Animator continues the story of Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) who like any good Frankenstein like character has returned home to continue his re-animation of dead corpses. With the help of Dr. Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot) who has also returned they are building a woman. With Lt. Chapham (Claude Earl Jones) on their trail though will history repeat itself?
With Brian Yuzna taking over from Stuart Gordon in the director’s chair, continuing the story of West wasn’t going to be an easy task. The first movie had the infamous “head giving head” scene, and come on who could top that? I’d argue that Bride of Re-Animator doesn’t try to top it, but it does increase the quotient of gore. Done in spectacular fashion, this is what makes this film such a success. With more of a focus on Herbert West’s obsession at being a god, it is interesting to see how Combs plays the character. All the subtle gestures, the delusions of grandeur and his narcissistic hatred of anybody who tries to steal his glory really makes Combs’ performance impressive. It also shows why horror fans love the character and the actor so much.
While it may not be as good as Re-Animator, I do still rate Bride of Re-Animator highly. If anything Gordon’s original feels more reigned in, if that is even possible. What Yuzna did with Bride of Re-Animator is to take things to another level of gore, with help from the likes of Thomas Rainone, John Beuchler, and Screaming Mad George and the rest of the effects team. Their work was stunning, and it really shows up in high-definition. Though there is one moment the director mentions, and after he does reveal it…it will stick in your mind every time you watch the scene again.
Arrow Video have brought us both the R-rated and Unrated versions of Bride of Re-Animator, and both have been given 2k restorations. You can’t help but be impressed by the quality of the picture image, especially in the most colourful scenes. The death of the Bride is one of the most spectacular scenes and the level of detail is one of the highlights of the disc itself.
Special features for Bride of Re-Animator include documentaries and behind the scenes footage from the film, but more impressive are the commentary tracks. There are three in total featuring cast, director, and special effects people, providing plenty of stories from the production and reminiscing about the film as they watch it. The commentary with Brian Yuzna the director is most impressive as it is a brand new recording. The package as a whole for Bride of Re-Animator makes this a must buy. The steelbook with artwork by Gary Pullin is beautiful and the disc quality itself is impressive enough. The fact that the film still stands up to scrutiny shows the quality of the film. It is one of my favourite cult horror movies, as it is with many people, and Arrow Video have shown the film the respect it deserves.
Bride of Re-Animator is available on Arrow Video Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD Limited Edition now.