The Return of the Living Dead Review
Written by: gabs1515
If you were to describe this movie in one word, it would be FUN! This film has a special place in my heart because the first time I saw it was during Halloween night 2003. I rented 5 horror films I've never seen before and this movie was the first one to kick off my night. Every Halloween since then I've held a horror movie marathon, and thus far every year has been an undying success.
The Return of the Living Dead is a film not to be taken seriously. It is made to be a horror/comedy. I think it's a lot of fun watching the characters, seeing one continuous blunder after another as a simple containment breach escalates into a massive cemetery revival. It does break a lot of the rules of your traditional zombie film, but if you can accept that, it makes it a lot of fun. Things like zombies running, eating brains, talking, etc. But after watching the featurette on the dvd, it was something they set out to do. There were competing against Romero at the time and they really didn't want to tread on his territory so they took the vision of a zombie in a different direction...and I loved it.
There are so many things that make this film great to watch. Most of the characters are tolerable and seem to have a good grip on things. Like most horror films, theres at least one person that can't handle shit so they fly off the handle, but it wasn't very bothersome. The comedy was great throughout, not so much as in one-liners, but more with how the characters and zombies acted. And as a bonus, the "Tar-Man", is probably the coolest zombie I've ever seen. I go nuts everytime the skeleton sits up out of the ground and as his eyes and mouth open wide, we hear this rock-n-roll "You Wanna Party!?!?" song hit. I love it.
Some of the special effects are lacking, but it doesn't detour the story any. Just keep in mind is it mid-eighties and they didn't have a very big budget.
I recommend it highly, it will never win any amazing award for excellence, but it is worth a watch and I for one am proud to own this precious gem.
The Return of the Living Dead
Written & Directed by Dan O'Bannon (the guy that wrote Alien)
Produced by Tom Fox
Key Actors: Clu Galager (Feast)
Thom Mathews (Friday the 13th Part 6)
Miguel Nunez Jr. (Carnosaur 2)
My Personal Feelings on the film
Characters - 9/10. I really enjoyed most all of the characters. I was annoyed very little with anyone. Miguel's character was starting to get bothersome, but Don's character slapped him up a bit and set him straight :)
Setting - Most of the film is set either at the Medical Supply Store, the Embalment room in the funeral home, and the cemetery. All 3 places had wonderful and hilarious things happen.
Gore - For a low budget film, the gore was spectacular. Biting into peoples skulls, dismembering corpses, and plenty of zombie destruction were all done splendidly.
Nudity - There sure was. A decaying torso and a naked chick frolicking around the cemetery were all this film offered. But the naked chick does have a very nice body, typical 80's punk hair style, but thats ok.
Shock Level - 4/10. Nothing much was really shocking. Maybe the first time "Tar-Man" bit him a chunk, but thats about it.
Humor - 8/10. Plenty of jokes sprinkled throughout the film. Some out-front humor and some satirical, but its all good stuff.
Realism - 3/10. I'm sorry but zombies don't run or talk. The decaying bodies were done very well though.
Ending - 4/10. I would've liked something other than footage from the movie, and it was kinda lame the way it did end....but I suppose it is a logical end, like how war of the worlds ends. Its nothing EXCITING, but it is pretty logical.
Interest Level - There was enough going on at any given point to keep me interested. It was my 3rd time viewing the film in the past few years and I didn't have the urge to half surf the net and half watch the movie at the same time.
Classification - Well I suppose I would classify this as a Rock-N-Roll Eighties Punk Zombie Brain Eaters Comedy Extravaganza.
Sequels - To my knowledge there are 4 sequels (5 films in total) Part 2, Part 3, Part 4: Necropolis, and Part 5: Rave to the Grave. I have yet to see the 5th one, but 1,2,3 were pretty good but 4 I really didnt care for. I'd watch it again on Sci-Fi maybe, but I doubt I'd pay money to see it again. If they could do another sequel that adds humor back to the mix instead of just using the chemical as an excuse to make zombies then I hope they make it, otherwise leave it be. I think it's had enough.