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“BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR” (Blu-ray Review)

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It’s a damn shame that BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR doesn’t quite get the same respect as its predecessor. While the film doesn’t quite have the same pacing or script strength as RE-ANIMATOR as well as some other key elements (Barbara Crampton is dearly missed), the film is way better than its reputation would allow, which is even more impressive considering it’s Brian Yuzna’s sophomore directorial outing. And with some truly fantastic FX set pieces, solid horror comedy and a stellar cast at their behest, BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR is the kind of underrated sequel that deserves to be found again… and luckily, thanks to Arrow Video, horrorheads will have the opportunity to do so in its best home video release to date.

For those unfamiliar, BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR follows Herbert West and Dan Cain eight months after RE-ANIMATOR, returning to Massachusetts after experimenting on corpses in the Peruvian Civil War. Resuming their jobs as well as their illicit studies, West and Cain are determined to build a body out of different parts in order to re-animate Cain’s deceased ex-fiancee, Meg. Yet when an obsessive police officer and an ambitious pathologist catch wind of West’s return, a familiar face returns to get revenge of West and Cain once and for all.

Hitting U.S. Blu-ray for the first time, Arrow Video goes above and beyond for BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR, giving it the royal treatment in high definition. The video is fantastic on both the unrated and R-rated cut thanks to a brand new 2K transfer; the color and picture quality is phenomenal, even though the “unrated” footage is still noticeably downgraded from the available elements. Meanwhile, the uncompressed PCM track sounds fantastic; while it may not be as dynamic as a 7.0 mix, you’ll certainly never hear Richard Band’s score more clearly or bombastically.

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However, where Arrow Video strikes gold with this release is in the feature department, offering three discs worth of eerie extras for horrorheads to sift through. The crown jewel of the piece is likely “Splatter Masters,” a newly produced featurette on the FX dream team that worked on BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR, with interviews and vintage footage from Robert Kurtzman (formerly of KNB), Screaming Mad George, Tony Doublin and John Buechler. Meanwhile, the new audio commentary with Brian Yuzna is super informative and almost scholarly in presentation, while his newly-produced interview featurette covers some of the same ground.

Meanwhile, Arrow also stacks this release with enough ported-over extras to make Criterion blush. Everything from previous audio commentaries (which features Combs and more FX personnel) to deleted scenes to archived featurettes & EPK interviews, Arrow makes this release worth every collector’s while. Yet perhaps what will most entice fans to upgrade is that this 3-Disc set will also come with a reprint of the 1992 RE-ANIMATOR prequel comic, DAWN OF THE RE-ANIMATOR, replicated in its entirety for your reading pleasure.

Overall, if the movie itself isn’t enough to get you to pick up this release of BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR, then Arrow’s loaded extras and collectible comic sidekick should do the trick. BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR is a lot of fun on its own, but Arrow’s 2K transfer is nothing short of gorgeous, and for old-school FANGORIA fans who love the nitty gritty of the FX world, then this release has you covered both in the film and the features.

About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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