Though I'd always considered "Bride of Re-Animator" a fairly subpar sequel, the question of whether the movie truly stunk or whether it just paled in comparison to the brilliantly cool original always nagged at me a little. So now after sitting through "Bride of Re-Animator" for the second time in twelve years, I can put that niggling to rest: it's a pretty crappy sequel...both compared to the original and certainly on its own.While Re-Animator has wit and audacity and gore and ferocity to spare, Bride of Re-Animator has gore...and the same actors. The plot picks up eight months after the bloddbath the ended the first Re-Animator. Doctors West and Cain are first seen wading through the carnage of a warfront hospital before the opening credits roll...and then the pair are back at another university setting hackin' and exsanguinatin' their way through a whole new series of corpses. Before too long there are re-animated animals, zombified authority figures, and gibbering bloodstreaked undead galore.
Just like in the first flick.
Sad but true; Bride of Re-Animator suffers from that most prevalent of sequel maladies: formulitis. This occurs when filmmakers, in a well-meaning effort to please the fans, rely far too strongly on plot devices and gimmicks rehashed from the first installment. Often the follow-up ends up feeling more like a remake than a continuation, and rarely does a situation like that make for a quality sequel.
To be fair, Bride of Re-Animator does bring something new to the table, but (as the film's title clearly indicates) even this new addition comes courtesy of ANOTHER horror sequel. And one that's seventy years old too! Essentially what we've got here Re-Animator meets The Bride of Frankenstein... obviously. But beyond that possibly entertaining amalgam of old-school goth and modern-day gore, very little of Bride of Re-Animator rises to that potential. Fans of the original (myself included) may find themselves offering Part 2 a few glimmers of begrudging good will, particularly towards Act III when the grue flies fast and furious - though there's no denying that a film as celebrated as Re-Animator deserved a little more from its follow-up.Give the second sequel (Beyond Re-Animator) a spin; it's a flick that remedies many of these complaints by echoing the original's gruesome sense of playfulness instead of just the carnage.