Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis Review
Written by: Alexander Gustafsson
I have been a fan of Return of the living dead for numerous years now, and became so interested in these films I even created a website dedicated to this saga. Return of the living dead is today considered as classic by many fans of the genre. Probably because it was one of the first films that brought humor elements in to the zombie genre.
The first sequel is a personal favorite of mine, because I saw it in a young age and have some sentimental childhood memories attached to it. It was a well-done and loyal sequel because it brought back a lot of the same things that made the original so successful; such as returning actors, the soundtrack in the graveyard sequence and of course a solid dose of humor.
The third entry was more of a serious and disturbing film, it had barley anything in common with the previous two installments. Brian Yuzna created a film to similar to his own “Re-Animator” movies and to different from “Return of the living dead” Then it seemed that this horror saga was dead and buried, but in the late 90’s and the following years some rumors started to pop up about a fourth film. William Butler and producer Tom Fox (Who produced part 1-2) wanted to get the franchise back in production again.
First I was delighted when I read that Tobe Hooper was going to direct and that Thom Matthews and James Karen was going to return, but unfortunately it turned out to be untrue and more disappointments were on the way. Apparently they wanted a Resident Evil-like plot about skater punks fighting an evil corporation with videogame-like elements. Also, sadly enough Tom Fox passed away last year. Even after reading all this negative info, I tried to keep an open mind when I watched the movie.
The film introduces a group of teenagers and one the character’s uncle is involved in a corporation who uses the gruesome gas that caused the events in the previous films to create robotic zombies and use them as high technological war weapons. Finally the zombies starts a rampage and it’s up to the teens to stop the undead and save the day. I think if they had created a plot more similar to the first two films, it would probably have turned out better. They should’ve stayed true to the roots of the original.
When I go to see a ROTLD film, I expect to see corpses from a cemetery take over a town; I don’t want a “Romeo and Juliet” plot or Resident Evil rip-offs. I really don’t understand people who think they can “improve” a franchise by changing everything. Just look at the Friday The 13th series for an example: The films about teens getting killed at a summer camp turned out well, while the ones with different and odd plots about imposter killers, body-jumping and space-traveling is claimed to be the worst entries in the series. My advice is that when you watch it, don’t expect anything similar to the original, but still try to enjoy this okay movie for what it’s worth