Monday, October 16, 2006

Bride of Re-animator

(1990) ****

Dr. West and Dr. Cain are up to no good again.  To continue their research on reanimating the dead with the neon juice, West convinces Cain that stealing dead bodies from the hospital in the tradition of Weekend at Bernie's is a great idea.   Cain constantly struggles with the moral ramifications of their actions, but West can be very persuasive.  He then assures Cain that creating a woman from a slew of old body parts is a necessary and productive way to spend their time.   What could possibly go wrong?  Well for one thing, the life they create is destined to be a hideous, uncontrollable monster.   Also, a nosy cop is hot on their trail and the decapitated head from the first movie (now able to fly using bat wings,) wants revenge.   

West kills the cop as he clearly has no choice.  But anytime something horrible goes wrong resulting in unexpected death, he simply sees it as an opportunity to bust out the juice.   It's not his fault, he just can't help it.  The dead cop of course, turns into a scientist-tossing savage and we're well on our way to another top-notch splatter-fest.    

Like the original Re-animator, Bride pretty much rules because it carefully walks the line between gratuitous violence, sense of humor, deadpan acting and imaginative storytelling.   During one operating table scene, Dr. Cain gets a large stream of blood spewed directly in his face.  But instead of reacting to this disgusting occurrence, he simply towels it off as though it's the furthest thing from his mind.   The whole sequence lasts less than two seconds but it solidifies the movie as a cut above. 

It took me many years to see Dr. West as the priceless character he is.  Void of any human emotion, he justifies stealing body parts by dismissing them as "cast off remnants of a meaningless existence".   He's excessively self righteous and judgmental, and he never backs down from anyone or anything.  These qualities make him a hilarious role model for mad scientists everywhere.   Here is man who can give the gift of life to a woman and then hurt her feelings by telling her that she's "nothing but dead tissue". 

And don't you worry; the finale is every bit as revolting as the first.


Summerisle said...

I'm having trouble posting pictures, hopefully it's only temporary...

Octopunk said...

That was, like, the pinnacle of Horrorthon reviews. You are on freakin' fire today. I can't quote any one bit, it's chock full of laughs and insight.

Scientist-tossing savage!

JPX said...

Yeah I love Jeffrey Combs' Herbert West. He's like the world's angriest nerd. As Summerisle observed, he just never "gets" that what he's doing might be viewed as contraversial to others. All he cares about is the science. I love this guy.