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By Eric Campos | January 9, 2004

I tried. I really did try. Especially after hearing word all over the Net that this second sequel was supposed to actually be quite good; I wanted to like this movie. I told myself, just forget the blinding brilliance of the original film and go into this one with no expectation but to have fun. Mission failed. I just couldn’t do it. The first half of this film is served up like moldy old rehashes of the original “Re-Animator,” while the second half falls apart into a nonsensical clusterfuck. There’s just too much of Stuart Gordon’s original film hanging around in Yuzna’s second attempt at making a worthwhile sequel. And even if I were able to look at this film as an entity in and of itself, I still think it’s a pretty shoddy film, rife with ill-constructed characters motored by awful performances. Even Jeffrey Combs, while not giving a terrible performance, certainly doesn’t look like he’s into playing Herbert West this third and hopefully last time.
Locked away in prison for 13 years for accidentally letting one of his zombies go on walkabout, resulting in the death of an innocent girl before the eyes of a young boy, Herbert West finds himself face to face with that young boy once again as he has taken up the position of the new prison quack, a ploy to get himself acquainted with Dr. West and his re-animating ways. Bearing a sample of West’s reagent, this curious young doctor is all the inspiration Herbert needs to begin his experiments again on dead prison inmates. Add to the mix a lovely young journalist (taking Barbara Crampton’s role with nowhere near the acting talent…in fact she gives one of the most nerve grating performances ever) and an evil prison warden who also takes interest in West’s work (taking the late David Gale’s role) and you basically have “Re-Animator” in prison.
The chaos that this scenario makes possible could’ve made for a wild little film. But no zombie prison a-go-go here. Instead we have to deal with all of the half-baked main characters fighting each other off in a goofy, limp dick climax with the occasional zombie popping up to remind us that, yes, this is supposed to be fun. No fun here. This is torture.
Besides a couple of key gore sequences, this “Re-Animator” sequel is beyond awful.

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