Beyond Re-Animator

By Adam Lippe

grantgrant1Very disappointing. The charm of the first two films is in the humor and the amusingly low budget effects that “interact” with the cast. There is one creature in the opening sequence of Beyond Re-Animator, a rather uninspired one at that, and nothing else for about 75 more minutes after having to suffer through a very dull prison riot for about 30 of those. And in this case there is only 1 shot where another person is even in one of the effects shot, and that effect is very poor.

The movie seems to be made with commercials in mind, as there are fade outs every 12 minutes or so. Even the rhythms of the story seem to play into the hands of edited for TV movies. I suspect the Sci-Fi channel can leave most of the movie as is (no superimposed fadeouts) and simply eliminate the nudity and some of the brief explicit gore scenes. Not until the very end do any of the zombies do anything non-Romero like. There’s a lot of unexplained mumbo jumbo about transferring souls via some sort of plasma extracted from a live body, and all of this material goes nowhere, and yet it seems to take up more than half the movie.

And while one does not look for decent acting in a film such as this, competency should at least be a requirement. The lead female in this movie is below porn-terrible, not aided by the fact that she has had all (and I do mean all) of her lines looped badly with ADR. She seems to have performed her lines phonetically anyway. Her love interest, obviously a replacement for Bruce Abbott, is like Devon Sawa’s much less talented brother in looks and in screen presence.

beyondreanimatorCombs has one or two moments of humor, but there are no clever bits of dialogue, nor anything even campy to be amused by. The whole thing is sort of like dead weight that he’s trying to carry.

It’s a little sad when the most entertaining moment in the film (and this will most certainly be cut out of the TV broadcast) is during the closing credits, a sort of bizarre shadow puppet scene, between things that normally wouldn’t come in contact with each other. That said, the rest of it is severely boring and lacking any imaginative touches.

And for those who have seen it:

SPOILER

Why did they keep cutting back over and over to the rat playing with the penis? It’s not that I was grossed out, it was that the shot had no variation. It happened at least four times within a few minutes, and I kept thinking that perhaps the editor had nothing else to cut to.

END SPOILER

For a concluding thought, who can explain the scenes where the warden wants the reporter to get on her knees and bark like a dog?

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Roadracers

By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]


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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.