Beyond Re-Animator

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Beyond Re-Animator
Beyond Re-animator.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Brian Yuzna
Produced by Brian Yuzna
Julio Fernández
Carlos Fernández
Written by Characters:
H. P. Lovecraft
Miguel Tejada-Flores
José Manuel Gómez
Starring Jeffrey Combs
Tommy Dean Musset
Jason Barry
Bárbara Elorrieta
Elsa Pataky
Santiago Segura
Simón Andreu
Music by Xavier Capellas
Cinematography Andreu Rebés
Edited by Bernat Vilaplana
Castelao Producciones
Fantastic Factory
Distributed by Filmax International (Spain)
Lions Gate Entertainment (U.S.)
Release dates
  • April 4, 2003 (2003-04-04)
Running time 95 min.
Country Spain
Language English
Budget $3,000,000 (Estimated)

Beyond Re-Animator is a 2003 Spanish horror film directed by Brian Yuzna and starring Jeffrey Combs, Jason Barry, Simón Andreu, Elsa Pataky and Santiago Segura. It is the third installment of the Re-Animator series.[1]

The film premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel, though it was produced independently and acquired by the channel only as a distributor; this showing was cut to a TV-PG rating. The subsequently released DVD was rated R, but there is a slightly longer unrated cut available in some countries. It also received a limited theatrical run in the U.S.


For the past 13 years, Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) has been serving a prison sentence at the hands of one of his zombies. With what scant supplies he has on hand in the prison medical center, Dr. West has been capable of performing only extremely basic experiments on rats. However, his lack of supplies does not prevent him from uncovering a key element in his re-animation process. When a young doctor named Howard Phillips (Jason Barry) comes to work at the prison, he teams up with West to help him attain the supplies and tools needed to bring his experiments to the next level. Phillips is the younger brother of the teenage girl who was killed (he's shown watching West being taken away by the cops) and came to the prison for the explicit purpose of working with West. In the meantime, Phillips gets a girlfriend, the journalist Laura Olney.

Dr. West has discovered "NPE" (Nano-Plasmic Energy), an energy that can be extracted from the brain of a living organism through an electrocution-like process, to be stored in a capsule resembling a small light bulb. The capsule can then be connected to a corpse and used in conjunction with West's previously developed reagent to restore the former dead to a lifelike state. The NPE prevents the degeneration seen in previous instances, where the reanimated are nothing more than mindless zombies. Used together with the re-agent, reanimated corpses regain their skills, memories, and motor functions and nearly fully resemble normal humans.

The warden of the prison uncovers West's experiments, and is subsequently killed and re-animated a la Dr. Carl Hill in the first Re-Animator. However, West uses the NPE from a prisoner's pet rat, causing some unexpected side effects in the warden's behavior. It manifests itself as the prison descends into utter chaos as a riot breaks out, with vials of the reagent circulating through the population. Soon, it is unclear who is dead, who is alive, and who has been exposed to the agent. During the chaos, Laura is killed. Phillips is believed to be criminally insane by guards, when they find him weeping over Laura's head, severed from her body.

West manages to escape the prison by stealing Phillips' I.D., when he comes across him weeping over Laura's decapitated body before the guards appear. In the end of the film, West is shown putting on his glasses outside the prison, once he has slipped past security. He then throws a human eye, struggling to move, onto the lawn of the prison. After witnessing this, West slips into the night to continue his research.



In 2011 Arrow Video released a new Special Edition DVD, with the following Special Features:

  • Audio commentary with director Brian Yuzna
  • ‘All in the Head’ Brian Yuzna on the Re-Animator Chronicles (50 mins)
  • Original Trailer
  • Reversible Sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Tom Hodge 'The Dude Designs'
  • Double-sided fold-out poster featuring new artwork
  • Collector’s booklet featuring ‘World of Lovecraft’ and an Interview with star Jeffrey Combs by author and critic Calum Waddell as well as an extract from H.P. Lovecraft’s original story ‘Herbert West: Renimator’


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that the film received positive reviews from 45% of 11 surveyed critics; the average rating was 5.2/10.[2] Allmovie gave the film a mixed review, calling it "almost a remake of the original".[3] Jonathan Holland of Variety writes that the film is "sometimes shocking but rarely scary" and "calculated to appeal only to hardcore gore hounds."[4] In a mixed review, Patrick Naugle of DVD Verdict called it "somewhat of a letdown" but "worth at least one viewing".[5] Writing for Bloody Disgusting, Brad Miska rates the film 2.5/5 stars and called it "a fun movie, but nothing special".[6]

In their book Lurker in the Lobby: A Guide to the Cinema of H. P. Lovecraft, Andrew Migliore and John Strysik write: "If your idea of Lovecraftian fun is Combs' acidic one-liners, and digitally enhanced gore effects that weren't available for the other two films, then by all means have a look. But if you're comparing this film to the still classic Re-Animator, well... This third try is only a shadow of the gonzo wit of the original and not nearly as entertaining."[7]

Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For author Arnold T. Blumberg wrote that "Beyond Re-Animator is better than its immediate predecessor" and that "Combs slips back into the white shirt and black tie, wielding the hypo of green goo like he never put it down, but his performance is nicely tempered by the passage of time, giving us a West that lacks some of his youthful confidence but none of his single-minded desire to pursue 'The Work.'"[8]


  1. ^ "Beyond Re-Animator". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Beyond Reanimator". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  3. ^ Jason Buchanan. "Beyond Re-Animator (2003)". Allmovie. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Holland, Jonathan (2003-08-04). "Review: 'Beyond Re-Animator'". Variety. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  5. ^ Naugle, Patrick (2004-01-05). "Beyond Re-Animator". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  6. ^ Miska, Brad (2004-10-22). "Beyond Re-Animator". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  7. ^ Andrew Migliore & John Strysik, Lurker in the Lobby: A Guide to the Cinema of H. P. Lovecraft, Night Shade Books, February 1, 2006, ISBN 978-1892389350
  8. ^ Blumberg, Arnold (2006). Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For. Telos Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 9781845830038. 

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