Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jeffrey Combs, Jason Barry, Elsa Pataky, Bárbara Elorrieta, Santiago Segura, Lolo Herrero, Enrique Arce, Nico Baixas, Simón Andreu, Joaquín Ortega, Raquel Gribler, Daniel Ortiz
Written by: José Manuel Gómez, Xavier Berraondo
Directed by: Brian Yuzna
MPAA Rating: R for strong graphic violence/gore, sexual content and language
Running Time: 96
Date: 04/23/2003

Beyond Re-Animator (2003)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

West Ghosts

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This perfunctory sequel, the third, and (so far) final in the Re-Animator series, takes place thirteen years after Bride of Re-Animator (1990). Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) is serving time in jail for his crimes against humanity. A little kid from 1990 has now grown up to become Dr. Howard Phillips (Jason Barry). He has asked to be transferred to the prison's hospital, and requested to have West as his assistant. The idea is to begin work anew on West's glowing green re-animation formula. This time, however, West has developed a way to extract a living being's "essence" and inject it into one of his re-animated zombies, thereby giving the re-animated victim something like a "soul" (although West wouldn't call it that).

The astoundingly gorgeous reporter Laura Olney (Elsa Pataky, who is now Mrs. Chris Hemsworth), shows up, falls in love with Dr. Phillips and gets into trouble, while the creepy warden (Simón Andreu) leers at her. Lots of zombies wander around, this time with the aid of computer effects (one of them is just a torso that swings from the prison bars) and a rat is also zombified (and fights with a severed penis). Directed by Brian Yuzna, who was a producer on the classic original, this one moves swiftly and has some fun stuff, and Combs is once again amusingly cold and snappish as Herbert West. It's worth a viewing, but it falls far short of the 1985 film.

Lionsgate has released Beyond Re-Animator on a new Blu-ray (along with the much better Dagon) as part of their Vestron Video series. Director Yuzna provides a commentary track, and composer Xavier Capellas offers an interview and an isolated music score. There are video interviews with Yuzna, Combs, and H.P. Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi, as well as an art gallery, still gallery, original EPK, music video, and trailer.

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