I was over the moon when Arrow Video announced the release of Bride of Re-Animator and that is was coming to Blu-ray and DVD on 11th April in a stunning new 2K restoration, featuring both the unrated and R-Rated cuts of the film. This new deluxe set comes director approved and features a wealth of bonus content.
Many of you who subscribe to Blazing Minds will have seen my review for the first movie, Re-Animator, which was recently re-released as well, so the chance to review the sequel on Blu-ray was an opportunity that I jumped at, yet again it had been years since I’d seen the movie, so I was getting excited to see it again.
With the success of Stuart Gordon’s hit horror-comedy Re-Animator meant that a sequel was all but inevitable. The resulting follow-up, Bride of Re-Animator – this time helmed by director Brian Yuzna (Society, Return of the Living Dead III) – would prove that there was a good deal more life (and death) left in the story of Dr Herbert West and his ghoulish exploits.
Bride of Re-Animator takes place eight months after the horrific bloody massacre that happened at Miskatonic Medical School. Unperturbed by the disastrous outcome of his earlier meddling with the dead, Dr West (again played by Jeffrey Combs) continues his research into the phenomenon of re-animation; only this time, he plans to create life – starting with the heart of his young protégé Dan’s dearly deceased, Meg Halsey. Surely nothing could go wrong?
Bride of Re-Animator – Date. Mate. Re-animate.
With special effects master Screaming Mad George (the man behind the infamous “shunting” sequence of Society) on hand to contribute a host of characteristically weird and wonderful creations, Bride of Re-Animator carries on with the gory style of the first movie.
Although this second outing for Herbert West isn’t as “classic” as its predecessor, Bride of Re-Animator still has those moments that even after all these years have passed since seeing the movie, it’s not as darkly comical as Re-Animator, but still funny in parts (maybe in parts we shouldn’t be laughing at).
The unrated slightly longer version of the film, which I’m reviewing has subtle differences compared to the R-Rated version, mainly down to scenes of slightly over the top gore replaced with re-filmed or re-cut to keep the censors happy, but even in the R-Rated version there s plenty of 80s gore to cringe at.
Sadly unlike the unrated version the first film which had a DD5.1 sound mix, Bride of Re-Animator comes with its original 2.0 audio, which is uncompressed on the Blu-ray to give it a clear, crisp, sound.
The 2K restoration looks good on Blu-ray, it does seem a little grainy in some of the darker sections of the film, but let’s remember the film is 27 years old (damn now I do feel old!), but besides that grain, the colour is nice a vibrant, which with a horror certainly brings out the gory parts.
Ok so the film may be 27 years old, but when it comes to the special FX they are brilliant, realistic looking body parts and a rather strange and comedic head of Doctor Carl Hill (played by David Gale), all add to the strangely lighter side of the film, it only goes to prove that non-CGI effects ruled the roost at one time.
But for me, what really makes the Re-Animator series of movies fun to watch is the talented Jeffrey Combs, to many he IS Herbert West and with so many other H.P. Lovecraft adaptations under his belt, he was a perfect bit of casting for West.
Bride of Re-Animator Packed with Special Features
This new release of the film, is a very special release packed with so much that it is certainly going to be a release that fans will be wanting to get their hands on the Limited Edition. Just check out what it comes with.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED 3-DISC LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
• Brand new 2K restorations of the Unrated and R-Rated versions of the film, approved by director Brian Yuzna
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Original Stereo 2.0 audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays)
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Digipak packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
• Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by festival programmer Michael Blyth
• Re-Animator: Dawn of the Re-Animator – the official comic book prequel to the original Re-Animator
DISC 1 [BLU-RAY] & DISC 2 [DVD] – UNRATED VERSION
• Brand new 2K restoration of the Unrated version
• Brand new audio commentary with director Brian Yuzna
• Audio commentary with Brian Yuzna, star Jeffrey Combs, special effects co-ordinator Thomas Rainone and the effects team including John Buechler, Mike Deak, Robert Kurtzman, Howard Berger and Screaming Mad George
• Audio commentary with stars Jeffrey Combs and Bruce Abbott
• Brian Yuzna Remembers Bride of Re-Animator – brand new featurette where the director looks back at the making of the first Re-Animator sequel
• Splatter Masters: The Special Effects Artists of Bride of Re-Animator – brand new FX featurette with a wealth of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Robert Kurtzman of KNB, Screaming Mad George, Tony Doublin and John Buechler
• Getting Ahead in Horror – archive making-of featurette
• Meg is Re-Animated – deleted scene with behind-the-scenes footage
• Carnival Sequence – the cast and crew discuss this excised sequence
DISC 3 [BLU-RAY] – R-RATED VERSION – LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE
• Brand new 2K restoration of the R-Rated version
• Behind-the-Scenes Reel
‘RE-ANIMATOR: DAWN OF THE RE-ANIMATOR’ – LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE
• Perfect-bound booklet containing Re-Animator: Dawn of the Re-Animator, the 1992 comic prequel to Stuart Gordon’s original Re-Animator, reprinted in its entirety
Wow now that’s an awesome collection of special features.
BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR IS AVAILABLE ON DUAL FORMAT DVD & BLU-RAY, 11th APRIL 2016