Horror Movie Review: Beyond Re-Animator (2003)

The third and final entry in the Re-Animator series combines a lot of what I enjoy in horror. Good acting and great practical effects, the latter done by Screaming Mad George. Beyond Re-Animator has both as well as lot more going for it.

You can read our review of the original Re-Animator here and its sequel Bride of Re-Animator here.

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Beyond Re-Animator was directed by Brain Yuzna (Society/Return of the Living Dead: Part III) and stars the legendary Jeffery Combs as well as Jason Barry and Elsa Pataky.

The opening of the movie sees a young boy witness the death of his sister at the hands of one of Dr. Herbert West’s zombies.

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West played by Jeffery Combs again, is arrested and sent to prison. 13 years later we catch up with him where he remains incarcerated trying to perfect his work. The lack of supplies has slowed West down but he has still made massive progress thanks to the discovery of Nano-Plasmic Energy.

This energy can be taken from a subject and when combined with West’s original serum, turn the dead back to a seemingly life-like state. No longer zombies without any brain power. Using this energy these new forms almost resemble human beings.

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West is assigned to assist the new prison doctor, Howard (Jason Barry) who turns out to be the young boy who lost his sister to the zombie 13 years earlier. He interest in West’s work is what drove him to come and work at this prison and together, the pair start to perfect it once and for all.

With a corrupt Warden, prisoners holding a grudge towards West and journalist Laura (Elsa Pataky) sniffing around big problems are coming…

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Plot wise, Beyond Re-Animator isn’t a great film. It’s pretty thin and once we reach the crazy final third it is mostly forgotten. No, this is a movie for the gore-hounds out there as Screaming Mad George excels again with his effects, mostly all practical.

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There is some computer animation when we see just how Nano-Plasmic Energy works but beyond that it’s graphic and extremely bloody. Although it does get a bit slapstick at times thanks to the zany score.

Still for all it’s silliness it retains a dark tone. One that really rears its ugly head with a grim finale. Jeffery Combs deadpan and detached Herbert West continues to be a shining light of these movies. He is the character that everyone remembers by time the credits roll.

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Is it as good as the previous two movies? Of course not! However, it does have plenty of entertainment value.

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Beyond Re-Animator
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