Well, guys, it had to happen. Spoiled by two wonderful flicks from the late eighties, 2003 had to come at us with its Sci-Fi channel productions and edginess. So like nearly all third films in a trilogy, here’s why Beyond re-animator is hot steamy garbage.
Too Rotten To Re-animate
Beyond Re-animator starts with a brief flashback to what appears to be the early nineties, two kids trying to scare each other in a tent as their older sister aimlessly rolics about the house being slasher bait. Immediately something is off, it feels different like it’s trying to be a very serious affair. This is broken up by a recently re-animated corpse charging into the house and killing the young lady while her brothers look on. We are then treated to a shot of Herbert West being pushed into a squad car and the child picking up a syringe of the re-agent.
Thirteen years later there’s a new resident doctor in Arkham Penitentiary and he has a vested interest in having West as his assistant. This is where the bits start to fall of this body of work. There was the potential with all the characters in play;
A power-mad warden with a god complex, a plucky young reporter desperate for a story and a young doctor besotted with the idea of Wests’ work.
But it was squandered, the warden is cruel but very dumb, the reporter is just a ham-fisted love interest and the relationship between West and the young… Wait for it… Dr. Howard Philips is just the two not knowing what they are doing for the length of the movie.
Watching this movie is confusing because it doesn’t know what it wants to be. The intro wants to be a tongue in cheek 90’s slasher, the mid wants to be a sci-fi advancement on the existing work and the last half an hour or so remembers it’s a re-animator film, but hasn’t got the time to explain. By the time the plot starts to resemble what we know and the gore and campy violence take the reigns, most will have switched off.
Missing A Spark
The main thing here is that Re-animator and it’s second were fun in all the right ways, the gore was well spaced out to keep you satiated. The violence always had an edge of slapstick and Jeffery Coombs was always at the helm, leading the plot. As threequels go this is less “Return of the King” and more “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked”.