As Dr. Herbert West, played by the legendary Jeffrey Combs, discovers the new possibilities of his Day-Glo serum, he seduces his former associate Dr. Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) who has dedicated himself to the world of medicine into teaming up one more time with the promise of rebuilding his ex-girlfriend, Megan. Meanwhile, his deceased arch nemesis Dr. Hill has returned from the grave with a plot to exact a most gruesome revenge indeed.
Thanks to Tartan Grindhouse my first viewing experience of Bride was like watching the entire film from inside that dim movie theatre from Martin Scorsese’s remake of Cape Fear (1991) as Robert De Niro’s maniacal laughter billows cigar cloud after cigar cloud into the air. Everything dark. Everything smoky. But now that Arrow have cast their crystal eyes over this ghoulishly gory horror classic, the sheer genius of Screaming Mad George’s work, in particular the soul-wrenching conditions of the titular Bride herself, can now be appreciated in all their weird and wonderful glory.
The last of George’s riotously wacky practical effects to receive restorative treatment was 88 Films’ release of Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995) back in Feb of this year. Perhaps best noted for that hilariously kooky punch-packing finale. My point being, whether you’re watching Society (1989) – another Arrow restoration – or 1988’s Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, without a doubt, the show will always belong to him and his amazing creations.
Combs, of course, plays sanity-starved West with everything he’s got. So caught up in himself and his goals that you can’t help but titter while shaking your head in sympathy for the poor mad theman. Abbott continues to play the sulking heartbroken romantic, completely unaware of the power that his wounded charm has on his future Bride. Strangely enough, in the end he gets the girl even though he reveals himself to be quite the shit by rejecting his new Bride, who in turn rejects herself – more ways than one! The bat-winged Dr. Hill manages to muster a fair degree of menace, and trust me, that’s pretty admirable considering the odds that are stacked against him.
A step up from its original, thanks in no small part to its SFX legend. The heart-wrenching (wink) destruction of the Bride is perhaps his crowning achievement.