Plot: Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) is now behind bars, after one of his dangerous abominations stumbles into a suburban locale and terrorizes the locals, even killing a young woman. Although he is imprisoned, West continues to experiment and has been working with rats of late, since the rodents are an ever present part of the prison’s population. Thirteen years later however, a chance to return to a real lab arrives when new staff member Dr. Howard Phillips (Jason Barry) has requested that West be his personal assistant. This seems odd at first, but as it turns out, Phillips is the brother to the young woman who was killed by West’s creation. He even kept the syringe of glowing green goo that West dropped on the scene, which he returns once the two are reunited in the prison’s medical ward. But will West’s unnatural experiments lead to positive results this time, or will things spiral into chaos like always?
Entertainment Value: This third volume in the Re-Animator series has a different feel than the previous two movies, but Beyond Re-Animator still has the signature elements and of course, the beloved Dr. West at the heart of it all. The horror side of the equation has been toned down, opting for splatter over scares and humor is dialed up, so this is still a fun ride. And given that both of the earlier films also leaned on humor, the lack of scares isn’t a concern here. The tone is just more over the top in Beyond Re-Animator, though Dr. West is as serious as ever, even as he rattles off one liners and unleashes horrific science on the prison’s inhabitants. Jeffrey Combs returns as West and is immense fun to watch, so while the material might not always be up to par, he wrings the most entertainment out of the script that he can. Bride of Re-Animator’s Brian Yuzna is also back as director, but beyond these two and the green goo, there’s not much common ground with the previous installments. I can see why this one gets a hard time from some fans and the original Re-Animator does cast a huge shadow, but I think this sequel has a lot of fun and bloodshed to offer.
A couple of brief topless scenes are the lone sleaze, but as one involves a chomp session, that adds some real fun. The movie has frequent splashy violence, including innards spilling over the place, rodent dining, someone is cleaved in twain, and we have a wide scope of re-animated corpses wandering around. The re-animated folks look cool and have good variety, but the best one has to be the jawless bozo who pours milk down his eviscerated gullet. There’s some unfortunate CGI involved at times, but most of the blood and guts seems to be practical. The dialogue has prison tough guy talk and science lingo, but the highlight as always in this series is Dr. West. He delivers one liners and withering insults, all in his usual deadpan, yet dramatic fashion. His lines might not be as sharp or plentiful this time around, but he still comes through with some fun barbs. As for overall wackiness, we have the twisted humor, sloppy gore, and West’s repartee, but this one is a little more reserved than you might expect.
Overall Insanity: 3/10
The Disc: Umbrella Entertainment offers this one with a solid visual presentation, but some noise reduction issues surface as well. The image looks good in HD and is a nice enhancement over the DVD releases, with more detail and depth, but again, the DNR is a concern here. Even so, this transfer looks good and while not ideal, most fans will appreciate the added resolution. As for extras, we have Brian Yuzna’s audio comments, a host of cast & crew interviews, a couple behind the scenes pieces, and the trailer. The highlight is the Move Your Dead Bones music video, which is outlandish and never fails to entertain.