By Leonard Buccellato
Jul 24, 2018 08:20 PM EST

Beyond Re-Animator Blu-ray Review

It is too bad they couldn’t get more funding for another Re-Animator sequel. This is one corpse I would like to see resurrected, again, and again, and again...
Beyond Re-Animator Blu-ray Review
Purchase  Blu-ray | Digital HD
Vestron/Lionsgate releases the second summer film in the Collector's series on July 24th, with everyone's favorite mad scientist, the inimitable Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs ; The Frighteners) in the final installment of the series, Beyond Re-Animator.

After causing the Miskatonic University Massacre, Dr. Herbert West has been serving a prison sentence for the past 14 years. Far from overcoming his scientific obsession with bringing dead organisms back to life, he has had no choice but to continue his experiments on the only specimens he can find in his cell: rats. When Howard, a new young Doctor, comes to work as the prison MD and requests his assistance, DR. West discovers the young protégé has something he left behind 14 years ago…

The films starts off 14 years earlier when, at the end of the Miskatonic Massacre, Dr. West is arrested for his experiments but not before one of the Zombies kills a young girl. Her brother, Howard Phillips, (you read that correctly) bears witness to her violent end, but also sees the Dr. being cuffed and stuffed into a squad car. He quickly snatches up the Mad Dr.'s last remaining syringe of re-animator formula. Fast forward 14 years, our young man is now Dr. Howard Phillips (Tommy Dean Musset), and he is ready to continue the experiments, where Dr. West left off, of course, he will require the Doctor's assistance, and this is where the shit hits the fan. 

Whenever a film has the name Brian Yuzna attached to it, you come to expect certain things to be present, like talking rectums or headless corpses, holding their own head, and performing cunnilingus, or severed penises, kung-fu fighting with a zombie rat, etc. In other words, pure madness, and insanity, which is what you will see when you watch the 3rd and final installment in the Re-Animator series. What I love most about these films, besides the outrageousness of them, is the lack of evolution in the character of Dr. Herbert West. Jeffrey Combs plays his role perfectly and though he borders on scene-chewing he pulls it back just enough to allow the zombies (his victims) to enjoy the feast. 

If you can imagine the destruction one zombie can cause in an enclosed space, you can imagine what many of them can do, especially during the madness of a prison riot. There is gore aplenty, in this film as well as the camp you come to expect - severed limbs (and penises… no really!), bodies cut in half, and crawling around, inmates shooting up with re-animator formula, "cats and dogs, living together, mass hysteria".

Some noteworthy performances are in this film, especially from Elsa Pataky, lately of the Fast and Furious films and married to Chris Hemsworth, as journalist Laura Olney, who falls in love with Dr. Phillips. But as you all know, any connection to Dr. West is going to end badly, and this is no exception. Hell ensues and, surely, Dr. West will be the only person to remain unscathed. 

As for the stats, Beyond Re-Animator comes with a nifty 1080p hi-def transfer in 16x9, 1.78:1 widescreen, with DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Vestron/Lionsgate really does an excellent job with their transfers and this is no exception, the dark scenes which, let's face it, is most of the film (especially during the prison riot) look clear and the guts and gore abound in vivid detail. 

The audio isn't anything to write home about but does a decent job keeping the dialog clear, and has some decent sound effects, with explosions and gunfire during the action sequences. 

This is another solid job in providing some great special features. The audio commentary with Brian Yuzna (he's always fun) is worth your time.  I also really enjoy the isolated score selections & Audio Interview with Composer Xavier Capellas. But the standout for me, are the interviews with Jeffrey Combs as well as S.T. Joshi, who provides further insight into Mr. Lovecraft's universe. 

It is too bad they couldn't get more funding for another Re-Animator sequel. This is one corpse I would like to see resurrected, again, and again, and again...

Grade: A

Special Features:

  • RESTORED AND REMASTERED for Blu-ray
  • NEW Isolated Score Selections & Audio Interview with Composer Xavier Capellas
  • NEW "Beyond & Back" – An Interview with Director Brian Yuzna
  • NEW "Death Row Sideshow" – An Interview with Actor Jeffrey Combs
  • NEW "Six Shots By Midnight" – An Interview with S. T. Joshi, author of I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft
  • NEW Production Art Gallery by Illustrator Richard Raaphorst
  • Audio Commentary with Director Brian Yuzna
  • Still Gallery
  • Vintage EPK Featurette
  • "Dr. Reanimator – Move Your Dead Bones" Music Video
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Optional Spanish and English SDH subtitles for the main feature

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Certificate: 18
Running Time: 96 minutes
Distributed By: Castelao Productions, S.I.

For more information about Beyond Re-Animator visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

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