Produced by Brian Yuzna. directed by Stuart Gordon, and starring Jeffrey Combs as Doctor Herbert West, Re-Animator (1985) was a great little film, chronicling Dr West's experiments with a luminous liquid which could re-animate the dead. Very watchable and entertaining, the film has since gained a cult following as these things do, and spawned two sequels.
After its success, Yuzna and Gordon turned to another Lovecraft tale for their next offering, From Beyond, and after that, Yuzna alone decided to go back and see what Herbert West was up to, the result being Bride of the Re-Animator. That these films were in part based on the old Frankenstein films can be no secret, with even the titles following the order of the old Universal classics.
Bride of the Re-Animator, while not quite as good as the original film, nevertheless has a good stab at being entertaining, crazy and quirky all at the same time. Once again Herbert West wields his glowing serum, but this time it allows him to create all sorts of monstrous creations through the connection together of various body parts. Thus a dog ends up with a human arm and hand, there's a cute little creature made from five fingers and an eyeball, and, as we reach the end of the film, a whole room full of monstrous creations straight from the crazed mind of FX artist Screaming Mad George.
The film is certainly paying respects to The Bride of Frankenstein with the creation of a statuesque female by Dr West from various body parts, including the heart of his assistant's girlfriend! When she rises, it's straight out of the black and white Universal film, with mad hair and jerky movements. And of course she never asked to be created in the first place ...
I really enjoyed the film, and it has a lot going for it. The monstrous creatures at the end are marvellous and I found it all channelling a sort of Freaks or The Sentinel vibe for me, as well as the more obvious Frankenstein influences. What is interesting is how close some of the plot elements are to the original H P Lovecraft story. According to details here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_West%E2%80%93Reanimator, the original work was serialised over six parts, with the first two being used for the original Re-Animator film, and the last two for Bride of the Re-Animator.
Overall the film is part of a very nice offering from Arrow, with the usual selection of documentaries and commentaries.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED 3-DISC LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
DISCS 1 & 2 – BLU-RAY/DVD – UNRATED VERSION
DISC 3 – BLU-RAY – R-RATED VERSION