Bride of Re-Animator

Director: Brian Yuzna

Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott & Claude Earl Jones

Released: 1989

The work of HP Lovecraft has not been especially well treated on film. His horror stories – particularly the cosmic horrors of his Cthulhu series – appear to have had greater impact on comic books or perhaps a certain stripe of heavy metal band than filmmakers. It’s a shame, because Lovecraft’s ideas that ‘normal life’ was a thin shell protecting our collective sanities from perceiving a madness-inducing reality was just as compelling as the Great Old Ones, an interstellar race of beings who once ruled Earth. As it is, film adaptations of Lovecraft’s stories tend to be direct-to-video, esoteric curios like Dan Gildark’s Cthulhu or Bryan Moore’s Cool Air.

The Re-animator series is based on a Lovecraft story from the early 1920s, Herbert West – Reanimator, whose protagonist invented a special solution, a reagent, than can resurrect the dead. Jeffrey Combs has played West in the three Re-animator films – but his relationship with the author doesn’t end there. He also played Lovecraft himself, in the portmanteau film Necronomicon, as well as starring in several more adaptations of his work.

Bride Of Re-animator is the first sequel to Re-animator, which resumes the grisly scientific experiments of West and his cohort, Dan Cain, as the pair attempt to reanimate the heart of Cain’s deceased fiancé. If you were in any doubt about the nature of this undertaking, be aware than the dismembered head of one character is not only revived but also enjoys the gift of flight – thanks to a pair of batwings successfully grafted onto his neck.

Director Brian Yuzna, meanwhile, enjoyed a successful career specialising in similar fare. His most successful film was another tale of scientific discovery gone wrong: Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, for which Yuzna co-wrote the story.

Michael Bonner

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