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Film / Beyond Re-Animator

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The second sequel to Re-Animator from the year 2003, which was directed by Brian Yuzna.

Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) has been in prison for thirteen years after one of his test subjects killed a teenaged girl and Dan Cain testified against him. The prison has a new doctor, Howard Phillips, who has West help him in the infirmary. Howard is revealed to be the younger brother of the girl who was killed by West's test subject. He helps West continue his experiments in the hope that what happened to his sister will never happen to anyone else again. West experiments with nanoplasmic energy, which can be taken from a living person and put into a reanimated person, restoring rational behavior. It works. Sort of.

Beyond has examples of:

  • Big Bad: Brando, the corrupt warden of the prison.
  • Body Horror: Plenty to go around, as per usual, but special mention goes to what happens to Speedball after he shoots up and ends up overdosing on the Reagent while still alive.
  • Book Dumb: Sgt. Moncho is confused by West' use of the word "dubious", and later uses it without knowing the proper context for it.
  • Breast Attack: The reanimated Moses sinks his teeth into the prison nurse's right breast.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: It's implied that Howard might've had feelings more than just brotherly love towards his older sister Emily. It especially comes across as this when he tells Laura that she reminds him of Emily.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Several, but Speedball's takes the cake.
  • Character Aged with the Actor: West has been in prison since the release of the previous film.
  • Churchgoing Villain: Moses, a religious prisoner who nonetheless succumbs to his cannibalistic urges from time to time. He'll tear out a chunk of your flesh only to spit it out and beg God for forgiveness.
  • Cradling Your Kill: After killing his reanimated Love Interest Laura, Howard is found cradling her remains by the authorities.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: After dying and being reanimated, Sgt. Moncho keeps saying "Dubious" after a confrontation with West in which he hears the word but doesn't understand it. When West impersonates Dr. Phillips to escape the prison, he passes Sgt. Moncho, who says to no one in particular "Dubious? Dubious."
  • Ear Ache: When Warden Brando confronts Laura for trying to talk to Moses (who has been reanimated by West), Moses attacks him and bites his ear off.
  • Deadpan Snarker: West, like always.
    Dr. Phillips: GOD DAMN YOU!
    West: Religion's got nothing to do with this.
  • Dulcinea Effect: Dr. Phillips stops to help Laura, who has a twisted ankle, before helping a guard who had a chunk of his arm ripped out by one of West's reanimated zombies.
  • Expy: Several of the characters. Dr. Phillips, West's new assistant, is Dan Cain, an idealistic young doctor who hopes West's work can be used to save lives. Laura, Dr. Phillips' love interest who gets killed and reanimated is Meg Halsey. Warden Brando, a lustful man obsessed with Laura who wants to steal West's reagent, is an expy for Dr. Hill.
  • Eye Scream: Dosing on the reagent formula causes Speedball's (who was still living when he took it) eyes and guts explode out of his body, akin to how Dr. Hill exploded when also overdosed on the Reagent in the first movie.
  • Eye Spy: For reasons the movie doesn't explain, West takes one of the eyeballs that exploded out of Speedball's body, and keeps it around until at the end when he discards the eyeball outside the front lawn of the chaos-infested prison, while it struggles to move.
  • Fan Disservice: Laura and Vanessa are topless for separate scenes in the film. However, many of these are with Laura as a zombie attacking people, or for Vanessa, being assaulted by one.
  • Fanservice: Laura shows her breasts in bed by Howard's side after they have sex.
  • Fantastic Drug: Speedball becomes addicted to West's reagent formula, which leads to his eyes and guts exploding out of his body.
  • Gag Penis: Warden Brando's severed penis, which comes to life due to West's serum. It later fights a rat.
  • Groin Attack: Warden Brando, after being reanimated, tries to force the equally reanimated Laura to give him oral sex. She bites his dick off. Due to coming from a reanimated individual, the penis itself becomes a living creature.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Cabrera gets torn in half, although there's enough formula in his system that his upper body keeps scuttling around on its hands.
  • Hard-Work Montage: West produces some reagent using a montage.
  • Hollywood Law: A prison warden does not have the ability to increase an inmate's sentence.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Moses, a crazy killer who was a cannibal even before his death and reanimation.
  • Incest Subtext: Considering the way he compares Laura to his late sister Emily, it's heavily implied that Dr. Phillips may have secretly harbored incestuous feelings towards his sister.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Zig-zagged. In the prologue, West gets arrested following the death of Howard's sister, finally being made to pay for his actions in the previous movies. He spends over a decade in prison, thanks in large part to Dan Cain turning over evidence against him. Of course, you should know by now that West won't stop performing his experiments and that someone eager to learn his secrets will give him the opening he needs. By the movie's end, the chaos in the prison allows West to escape into the night.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Warden Brando on his prisoners:
    "They're all actors here."
  • Laughing Mad: The events of the film drive Dr. Phillips to this point.
  • Lipstick Mark: West notices lipstick on Howard's collar and fears that Laura might be seducing him for information.
  • Losing Your Head: Laura's severed head opens her eyes and gives a Slasher Smile even after it's been removed from her body.
  • Lucky Charms Title: Some video covers have the "i" in the title replaced with a syringe. Others have it replacing the hyphen.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: There's an extended fight sequence between a rat and a zombie penis.
  • Meaningful Name: Dr. Howard Phillips is blatantly named after Howard Phillip Lovecraft, the author of the book the original film was based on.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Laura and Nurse Vanessa. Both are quite beautiful and show nudity in the film, although it's sometimes in less than sexy situations.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: West is ready to beat it out of the prison before the authorities show up, but he stumbles upon Howard after his breakdown. West sees how far gone Howard is, and he leans down as if to tap his shoulder sympathetically to get him moving. Subverted. He's simply lifting Howard's ID, and he runs off the second he gets it.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Howard is left insisting this when the authorities find him covered in blood and cradling Laura's severed head.
  • Off with His Head!: Howard cuts reanimated Laura's head off, as she's trying to kill him.
  • Open Secret: The reanimation. According to Howard, the government tried to cover up West's experiments. However, Laura has several newspaper clippings which show that at least some aspects of West's research are common knowledge.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: West to the Warden. "This experiment is over."
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Before West fries Warden Brando in the electric chair.
    Warden Brando: But I'm the Warden!
    West: Guilty as charged.
  • Prison Riot: After Sgt. Moncho gets attacked by the reanimated Ratty, it leads to the prisoners running free inside the prison, leading to a riot withing the establishment.
  • Refuge in Audacity: As usual for the series. What other film can you possibly name that features a fight scene between a rat and a zombified severed penis?
  • Replacement Goldfish: Howard treats Laura as a replacement for his older sister Emily, whose demise he witnessed at the hands of West's creations. At the end of the film, it's reached the point that by the time the authorities find him cradling Laura's body, he's so emotionally and mentally broken that he seems to actually believe that Laura is Emily.
  • Sanity Slippage: Howard was deeply affected by the death of his sister, but it's Laura's death, re-animation, and decapitation that truly send him off the deep end. He's left Laughing Mad in the end.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: Dan Cain is nowhere to be seen. This is handwaved away by West remarking that his "last assistant turned state's evidence on [him]".
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: The fight between the warden's penis and a rat.
  • Shout-Out: The character Dr. Howard Phillips is named after Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the writer of the novella Herbert West–Reanimator, which was the basis of the entire film series.
  • The Stoner: Speedball.
  • Stripperiffic:
    • The outfits Laura and Nurse Vanessa wear were far too sexy ever to be allowed inside a real prison, especially a men's prison. Justified in Laura's case, since she's trying to sweeten up the Warden as part of her scoop, but in Nurse Vanessa's case? Totally unjustifiable.
    • At one point, Vanessa has her lab coat ripped off by one of West's zombies. All she has on beneath it is some extremely flimsy lacy underwear, the bra part of which doesn't hold together for five whole seconds under the assault.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Howard Phillips is pretty much a younger, less mentally stable Dan Cain.
  • Taught by Experience: Due to the previous movies, West immediately knows nothing good will come of Howard's interest in Laura. His approaches to his experiments is also much more methodical than previous improvisations. He's also prepared to cut Howard loose if need be, due to how Dan (someone he seemed to have a fondness for) ended up turning on him and was key to his lengthy prison sentence.
  • Thereis No Kill Like Overkill: A zombified Moses attacks a member of a SWAT team... in front of the rest of the team. He is promptly riddled with bullets.
  • Took a Level in Badass: West is much more willing to be physical than in the previous flicks. 13 years in prison will do that to you, it seems.
  • Unexplained Recovery: There's no explanation for how West survived the end of the last film.
  • Vertigo Effect: Used on Howard after he finds out that Laura has been killed.
  • You Remind Me of X: After Howard explains that his motivation to become a doctor was the death of his sister Emily, he tells Laura that she reminds him of her.