Return of the Living Dead

Return of the Living Dead

4.3 10
Director: Dan O'Bannon

Cast: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa

     
 

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MGM has created another impressive entry in their line of low-cost Special Edition DVD's with Return Of The Living Dead. The video transfer is good for a film this age: a few night shots suffer from graininess (probably an inherent problem with the original elements) but the image is otherwise sharp, vivid and a vast improvement upon previous video editions ofSee more details below

Overview

MGM has created another impressive entry in their line of low-cost Special Edition DVD's with Return Of The Living Dead. The video transfer is good for a film this age: a few night shots suffer from graininess (probably an inherent problem with the original elements) but the image is otherwise sharp, vivid and a vast improvement upon previous video editions of this film. The mono audio track doesn't offer the fun a stereo remix would have added to this soundtrack but delivers solid, clean audio that suits the film nicely. What makes this disc a true treat for the fans is its generous array of special features. The most interesting of these is a feature-length commentary with writer/director Dan O'Bannon and production designer Bill Stout. Both men mix good cheer and dark wit in equal measure as they discuss the project from all angles. Stout comments mainly on the challenges of designing the film's look (his most interesting comments detail how they created the film's infamous half-body female zombie) while O'Bannon delivers plenty of fascinating info on the artistic process, including how he modeled his frantic dialogue scenes on the screwball comedies of Howard Hawks and his love/hate working relationship with actor Clu Gulager. There is also a nice interview short called "Designing The Dead" that uses interviews with O'Bannon and Stout to cover information not mentioned in the commentary. The package is rounded out by an array of fun trailers for the film and an eye-popping still gallery of Stout's conceptual art. All in all, MGM's DVD of Return Of The Living Dead is a ghoulish treat for the film's fans.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Like George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, whose central premise it loosely reworks, this seemingly standard-issue gore-fest offers more than meets the eye. It's not a genre-defining masterpiece like the source of its inspiration, but it is a relatively clever popcorn flick with more gruesome imagery and self-aware humor than most such films that glutted the mid-'80s marketplace. The punk rock trappings of its young cast were years out of date by the time of release -- just like in the John Hughes movies that ruled the multiplexes at the time. And in many ways, Return of the Living Dead comes off like The Breakfast Club, dressed up, or down, in dingy horror movie threads. Played with a knowing wink and a splash of special effects, juvenile-delinquent stereotypes provide a convenient framework for the inevitable escalation of cannibalism and thrills. By positing that the original Night of the Living Dead was based on a real incident involving a chemical that turns human corpses into brain-thirsty monsters, director/co-screenwriter Dan O'Bannon gets to thread in a slyly humorous subplot about a vigilant army officer. Even better is the campy dialogue of the titular zombies and the queasily funny set pieces. One sequence involving a warehouse full of medical specimens suddenly come to life gives rise to the indelible image of a "half-dog" and an angry butterfly collection -- surely worthy twists on a concept Romero himself revisited again and again.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/27/2002
UPC:
0027616878168
Original Release:
1985
Rating:
R
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:31:00
Sales rank:
25,027

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary from writer/director Dan O'Bannon and production designer William Stout; "Designing the Dead" featurette; Conceptual art by William Stout; TV spots; Original theatrical trailer; English mono, Spanish mono; English, French & Spanish language subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clu Gulager Burt
James Karen Frank
Don Calfa Ernie
Beverly Randolph Tina
John Philbin Chuck
Linnea Quigley Trash
Jewel Shepard Casey
Miguel A. Nuñez Spider
Brian Peck Scuz
Mark Venturini Suicide
Jonathan Terry Col. Glover
Cathleen Cordell Colonel's Wife
Jerome "Daniels" Coleman Legless Corpse
Robert Craighead Cop
Terrence M. Houlihan Yellow Cadaver
Thom Matthews Freddy
Stanzi Stokes Actor
Alexandre Trauner Tarman
Drew Deighan Paramedic
James Dalesandro Paramedic
John Durbin Radio Corpse
David Bond Radio Corpse
Bob Libman Tac Squad Captain
John Stuart West Riot Cop
Michael Crabtree Riot Cop
Ed Krieger Riot Cop
Paul Cloud Cop
Derrick Brice Gunnery Sergeant
Leigh Drake Dispatcher
Robert J. Bennett Headless Tarman
Cherry Davis 1/2 Lady Corpse

Technical Credits
Dan O'Bannon Director,Screenwriter
Jules Brenner Cinematographer
Matt Clifford Score Composer
John Daly Executive Producer
Tom Fox Producer
Derek Gibson Executive Producer
Barry Goldberg Score Composer
Francis Haines Songwriter
Mark Helfrich Editor
Graham Henderson Co-producer
Robert Howland Art Director
Ronald Judkins Sound/Sound Designer
Nigel Lewis Songwriter
Robert Lucas Set Decoration/Design
William Munns Special Effects
Rudy Ricci Original Story
Robert Gordon Editor
Mark Robertson Songwriter
John A. Russo Original Story
Jon Saint James Songwriter
William Stout Production Designer
Russ Streiner Original Story
Stacey Swain Songwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Widescreen
1. The Real Story [7:33]
2. Hiss!/Main Title [3:02]
3. Party Time [4:23]
4. Alive Again [5:41]
5. Unkillable [6:22]
6. Rabid Weasels [5:42]
7. Crematorium [4:26]
8. Sickness [6:01]
9. No Sign of Life [7:28]
10. Out of the Ground [4:30]
11. Trapped! [2:59]
12. Rigor Mortis [4:27]
13. Brains! [8:40]
14. They're Everywhere! [5:56]
15. Final Solution [9:41]
16. End Credits [3:40]
Side #2 -- Standard
1. The Real Story [7:33]
2. Hiss!/Main Title [3:03]
3. Party Time [4:23]
4. Alive Again [5:41]
5. Unkillable [6:22]
6. Rabid Weasels [5:42]
7. Crematorium [4:26]
8. Sickness [6:01]
9. No Sign of Life [7:28]
10. Out of the Ground [4:30]
11. Trapped! [2:59]
12. Rigor Mortis [4:27]
13. Brains! [8:40]
14. They're Everywhere! [5:56]
15. Final Solution [9:41]
16. End Credits [3:40]

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