Return of the Living Dead

The Return of the Living Dead

4.4 17
Director: Dan O'Bannon

Cast: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa

     
 

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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

Overview

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 The punk rock trappings of its young cast were years out of date by the time of release just like in the John Hughes movies that ruled the multiplexes at the time.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.

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:
09/11/2007
UPC:
0027616085474
Original Release:
1985
Rating:
R
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:31:00
Sales rank:
829

Special Features

Audio Commentary With Cast, Crew and Undead; Audio Commentary With Director Dan OBannon and Production Designer William Stout; The Decade of Darkness Featurete; Return of the Living Dead - The Dead Have Risen Featurette; Zombie Subtitles For the Film; Designing the Dead Featurette.

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

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Return of the Living Dead
1. Perfect Teeth [:09]
2. Army Secret [3:55]
3. Vapor/Main Titles [3:30]
4. On Call [3:03]
5. A Little Problem [4:28]
6. Dark Fantasy [:44]
7. Let Him Out [3:18]
8. A Big Favor [1:33]
9. Dust to Dust [5:13]
10. Getting Soaked [6:51]
11. Hungry [:35]
12. Technically Speaking [4:23]
13. They're Out There [2:02]
14. Under Siege [3:27]
15. Rigor Mortis [3:27]
16. Zombie Prisoner [4:35]
17. Send More Cops [1:05]
18. Transformation [2:50]
19. Escape Attempt [2:59]
20. Surrounded [2:57]
21. Call For Help [3:40]
22. In Case of Emergency [5:01]
23. Contingency Plan [:11]
24. Spectacular Results/End Titles [3:39]

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The Return of the Living Dead 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have yet to see a quality zombie film with this much cheese. It is perfectly balanced. From the overly stereotypical characters to the zombies calling out for "brains." The only small problem I have is the running zombies which is hardly probable but that is such a small issue that it is almost non-existent. Buy this movie and cherish the fact that it is in your collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I remember watching this as a kid and loving it because it was so scary. Now that I'm older, I love it because it's so funny. There is a current lack of legitimate attempts at making good horror movies. This movie is fun to watch and can be watched multiple times without getting old. I especially like the zombie subtitles in this edition. One of my all time favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie is great the mix of zombies, comedy and gore make it entertaining and exciting too watch. the director is no george romero but this is a movie you can watch with your friends and have a good laugh, the soundtrack is cool too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zombie movies, you have gotta love them. But watching the night of the living dead series just wasn't enough. I saw this one on the counter and had to rent it. It is hillarious. It takes the premise of previous movies and adds a splash of b-movie humour, like the evil dead series, but gorrier (is that how you spell gorrier(is gorrier a word?))
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is not your average horror movie, it's jam packed with comedy too. A classic of it's time, for zombie lovers or for someone that likes horror. It's a must see movie for those who couldn't stop at the first two Night of the Living Dead. It's certainly going to be one of your favorite movies as it is mine. Who wouldn't love to see those punks getting eaten away by brain hungry zombies. Who would have thought that the cemetary would be a bad place to hang out in. I give this movie a five stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have seen this film over 400 times and never get tired of it. It is a classic with such memorable lines and songs. Director Dan O'Bannon is a genius using such a limited 2 million dollar budget to make on of the greatest films ever. The story is original and fresh and works even today.This film was the first to introduce ''running'' zombies as opposed to slow ones. It has everything-riots,cops eaten by zombies,military conspiracy,chemicial leaks,comedy,action and a great cast. I recommend this masterpiece to all who appreciate classic works of art.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a very good flick, but I don't know what the director was thinkin by tryin to make this a sequel to night. but yeah this flick is very good, this flick brings you more than just horror, it brings you a bit of comedy as well. this flick is worth a check
Guest More than 1 year ago
The zombies are stupid because they just eat your brain instead of the rest of you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best zombie horror flicks I have ever seen. It was released theatrically in August of 1985 when I was fifteen. They say it's a comedy, maybe it has some black humor, but I think it's also quite scary (watch the night scene with Tina walking toward the warehouse through a dark industrial area, and then not long after, the one with the Tar man). The DVD release was long awaited by fans such as myself. I have to say that I am quite disappointed that the soundtrack was altered. The loud, thrashing punk music, which is to be found in the theatrical release and on the VHS copies of the film, has been significantly reduced. The movie just isn't the same without the original soundtrack and some fans will be displeased. I certainly was. This aside, I give the film and the DVD 5 stars because it is a great movie no matter what. Maybe in the near future they will let out a special edition DVD of the movie and restore the original punk music that made it so enjoyable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really like Return of the Living dead. Although the storyline was rather loose, the characters like Trash and Suicide make awesome cult characters worthy of the rankings of top cult icons like Dr. Frank-n-Furter Of Rocky Horror or Ash from Evil Dead. It was still an overall good movie. Not to metion an incredibly awesome soundtrack. The soundtrack itself is half the worth watching...
goodgirl2 More than 1 year ago
this movie is sorta a comedy when you think about it just like Dr. Giggles but its a great zombie movie real cool i enjoyed it
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