11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Welcome to Arkham Prison...the doctor will see you now...,
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This review is from: Beyond Re-Animator (DVD)
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).