Set primarily in a medical supply warehouse, a funeral home and a graveyard (how's that for a trifecta of great locations!), we follow the story of what happens when a long hidden government "nerve agent" is released and it turns out it has the power to reanimate the dead. And I don't mean intact corpses. It raises body parts, including, memorably, the remains of a dog that was cut in half (for classroom purposes). The shot of the poor creature, normal on one side and organ's exposed on the other, trying to run, sticks with you. It's disturbing, gross, funny and totally original.
The movie ups the ante with these zombies too. They CAN'T be killed with a shot to the head. In fact, nothing short of totally burning them up in a crematorium does the trick. When warehouse owner Clu Gallagher shows up at the funeral home with a pile of twitching plastic bags, that is a GREAT, grisly moment. Another great touch was having the two characters who breathed in the agent directly (when they were still alive) go straight from being alive to being zombies without all that annoying dieing stuff! The paramedics examine the shivering, but conscious and coherent men, only to discover they have NO heartbeat or blood pressure. Cool idea!
The movie is mostly populated with a bunch of obnoxious teenagers partying at the cemetary.Read more ›
Some gruesome special effects, especially the make-up, are effective, but they do not overwhelm the film. The cast, playing it up between tongue-in-cheek camp and true terror, is made up mostly of no ones but they are quite up to the task. RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD is a great horror comedy.
Poking fun at George A. Romeo's "Night of the Living Dead" series, this campy-style horror romp is undoubtedly some of the most fun you will have watching a scary movie. Director Dan O'Bannon uses just the right balance of sheer terror and humor, combining elements from Romeo's "Dawn of the Dead" and Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead". "Return of the Living Dead" is a zombie flick for hairbangers, with dead people running around searching for human blood and brains while to the soundtrack of rock music.
A small Virginia town is terrorized by zombies when a chemical spill accidentally resurrects those buried in a nearby cemetary. The blood-crazed zombies are in search of human brains, for it feeds the addiction caused by the unknown chemicals. Clu Gulager and James Karen give good, quirky performances, but Thom Matthews steals the show. Although not a revolutionary film, "Return of the Living Dead" has superb makeup effects, a rocking musical score, and a satiral script that will bring out more than a few chuckles. Spawned two unfortunate sequels.