So the first for me is not one of those classics from the 80s - its lightweight, frothy fun. And to be honest, I think I prefer this one - this was an utter riot! So we start with almost no consideration to the end of the first one (wasn't Herbert West carried off to his death? And what exactly was the fallout from the massacre at the end of the flick????) - West and Dan are now practising medicine in a Peruvian warzone for some unknown reason (with Allota Fagina from Austin Powers of all people!!!) before they head back to the same town and take up work at the local hospital, no questions asked, whilst at the same time deciding to continue their experiments, this time working on reanimating individual body parts rather than a whole......
So we have some real guff going on narratively speaking - there's some reanimated corpses from the first one that are being kept in a hospital for no real reason whatsoever, other than to, um, I don't know, maybe escape at the end and set up a ridiculously over the top finale? Hmmmm, yep. A character from the first film even returns (well part of him does!!!!) for exactly the same reason.
But frankly when its all done with such a bonkers sense of humour as this, stuff narrative cohesion - I want to see a dog with a human arm, a flying head with attached bat wings, a leg attached to an arm running around strangling people....its like The Three Stooges crossed with The Thing and I thought it was hilarious. The effects work is great - it only falls apart at the SERIOUSLY bonkers finale when all manner of Society-esque creations converge on our heroes. There's no Barbara Crampton this time (boo), but Jeffrey Combs is on fire as the nutso West and the glorious creation that is the titular Bride is a real joy to behold: icky, but there's something about her.....its a fantastic piece of make up effects work.
So for me, this is still knockabout fluff, but ups the bonkersness of the first - it has a fairly slow start but once the boys start reanimating anything they lay their eyes on, its gets more and more silly and more and more amusing. I had a blast with it!
The disc is ok - picture quality is as expected for a film of this ilk and vintage: its got a bit of detail, but its quite soft. The gloopy colours are spot on though and that neon green of the reanimating liquid is gloriously bright. Grain is there and all in it looks not too bad at all. The sound though is a mixed bag - what's on the disc isn't too bad: clear dialogue and music, obviously no LFE and there was hardly, if any, surround action.....which leads us to a potential issue. The disc is advertised as having a lossless stereo track, but on another forum some are saying its actually mono. I don't really care as I wasn't expecting surround fireworks from this, but it might be worth noting - I was watching another flick and couldn't be chewed to go back and have a look at the amp.
And the extras are actually quite light for one of Arrow's special editions - yes its 3 discs, but 1 is a DVD mirroring the unrated cut blue ray and the third is exactly the same as the unrated cut except its got the R Rated cut on and a 14 min rubbish BTS featurette on. So on the unrated disc we get a pretty good, but far too short 9 min look back at the making of with the director (which is well worth watching), a 14 min look back at the practical effects, which again is well worth watching, and then some rubbish deleted scenes and a horrible making of from back in 1989. God I cant watch those things!!! Yes there's 3 (!) audio commentaries, but come on Arrow, just expanding those 2 far too short featurettes would have been better. Felt a but light to me.....still, at least we get some actually really cool packaging and a nice little graphic novel to keep us happy.
Summary - I thought this was great. Its all about the great practical effects as we get all kinds of re-animated goodies going on. Its got a great sense of humour and all in, I thought it was huge fun. The disc is not bad transfer wise (although there is that potential soundtrack issue, but honestly don't let it bother you - it sounded fine) but extras felt a bit light. Am now off to read the graphic novel whilst contemplating the world.........