July 13, 2004

Beyond Re-Animator (2003)

"Everyone's favorite mad scientist Herbert West is currently in jail after having state's evidence turned against him by his former assistant, Dan Cain. While being led away, some re-agent falls from his pocket where it is picked up by a young man that was camping nearby. The young man find Herbert down in his jail cell and learns for himself just what the re-agent is capable of."

This is one of those films that I put off watching because I had the suspicion that it was going to be crap. I wish I had trusted my instincts for the most part too.

Thirteen years passed since "Bride of Re-animator" and that was hardly a good film either though it was a lot better than this. I can't quite put my finger on why but it just failed to deliver. Although obviously low-budget, it was a good story, had reasonable amounts of gore, good actors and sexy actresses, but it just had the wrong pace and tried hard for humour when it should have gone for scares. Oh and it's a Spanish production so there are a lot of Spanish actors in it in case anyone wondered. That doesn't always doom a movie to failure but I have noticed a trend.

The story is much the same as the other two in the series. Dr Herbert West is still re-animating bodies albeit now from inside a prison where of course he is encarcerated. A new prison doctor arrives who turns out to be a kid who saw the results of Dr West's experiments when one of them killed his sister. Then a reporter turns up who looks just like the boy's sister and there is a love affair thing going on just to bulk out the plot. The reporter turns out to be more interested in "the experiments" than her original prison story and ends up getting more than she bargained for when she is killed by the evil warden and then re-animated herself.

The new spin on things in this movie is that Herbert has now discovered how to harness the 'nanoplasma' which leaves the body at death and is responsible for human consciousness. Thus begins a lot of body swapping nonsense first with a couple of rats and then between different people.

I kept losing interest when all the "quirky" prisoners were doing their thing and I lost it even more when I realised that I really wasn't going to see Elsa Pataky (also in Snakes on a Plane) get totally naked. There is a minor sex scene and there is one shot of her squashed boob but it was down to the also attractive Raquel Gribler to get hers out instead.

An amusing scene involving a dismembered dinkle soon stopped being amusing though it must have pleased the director because it also continued throughout the end credits. It wasn't that funny.

So, apart from Elsa Pataky, there really weren't any great things to mention about this film. Jeffrey Combs does his usual performance but is just too much of a nice guy to instill anything really sinister into the mix... well, that's if you can call his role as Herbert West, a man who re-animates dead bodies, a nice guy!

The way is left open for a possible fourth film in the series but it I really think it's time to give up on this story now. I can't see it going anywhere else except further and further down in quality. It's a shame because the original "Re-animator" was an absolute genre classic.

Final verdict: Watch it if you want to but don't expect miracles. Herbert West himself could not raise this movie from the dead.

No comments:

Post a Comment