We’ll kick of our 31 nights of horror movies with Bride of Re-Animator, a movie that’s been languishing on my watchlist for a few months. It’s sat there largely due to the general disinterest I’ve been feeling towards Lovecraft and the Mythos recently. This is a case of familiarity breeding contempt; with Cthulhu largely becoming a mainstream figure, I’m experiencing some very hipster-like feelings towards the Mythos’ increased market penetration.
Luckily, there’s no Cthulhu or Mythos anywhere in Bride of Re-Animator, which picks up eight months after the events of the first film. West and Cain continue their quest to perfect Herbert’s reagent (or is it re-agent to go along with the movie’s title convention?) in war-torn Central America, but before long they’re back at Miskatonic University Hospital for another round of horror and comedy straight out of the first movie’s playbook. The head of Dr. Hill makes a return and West’s experiments go beyond defeating death and begin to focus on creating life–albeit, in true Frankenstein fashion, from dead tissue. Things unsurprisingly go awry, culminating in an ill-advised attempt to restore Meg, Cain’s dead fiancée from the first film, to life (in the guise of another actress).
Bride of Re-Animator doesn’t stray much from the formula Re-Animator followed, so if you’ve seen first film, you know precisely what you’re getting into. I did enjoy that the sequel has a few stronger call-outs to the short story it’s based upon (West and Cain conducting experiments in a war zone, their home/laboratory adjacent to the cemetery, and West’s final fate), which the original severely lacked.
I’m not certain how I never managed to see this movie despite viewing the original several times. I’m assuming it was a case of my local video store(s) never carrying it back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. But now that omission has been rectified. It’s equal to its predecessor, earning Bride of Re-Animator two skulls out of four on my Halloween Horror scale of enjoyment.