The Return of the Living Dead title

Tag Line : They're back, they're hungry...and they're NOT vegetarian.

The Return of the Living Dead A hugely funny, tongue-in-cheek, action packed zombie pic from director Dan O'Bannon. In this, several army barrels, being housed in the basement of a medical supply depot, accidentally crack open and emit a foul smelling green gas. After mixing with a shower of polluted rain, strange things begin to stir in the nearby cemetery.

This spells trouble for the people working late at the supply depot and even more so for the gang of punk rockers partying nearby in the graveyard, as the dead awake and go on the rampage looking to feed on human brains.

After being chased around the graveyard several times to the tune of "Party Time" by 45 Grave, the 2 different groups end up sheltering at the cemetery's mortuary building, where the pistol-packing attendant helps them to fend off the army of zombies, as they're laid under siege.

Some of the more memorable scenes include a couple of paramedic units getting attacked and eaten, along with the police riot squad as they move in to try and pacify the area (no such luck!) and two of the besieged group breaking out and riding round in an acquired police car, mowing down zombies as they try to reach help.

The film is basically an unofficial rip-off of Night of the Living Dead (often mistaken as being a sequel, which it isn't) and is without doubt one of THE BEST pictures to successfully combine horror and comedy in just the right proportions, at times you won't know whether to laugh or scream. There's gore galore and plenty of black humour, which is all delivered in the WORST possible taste, combined with nail-biting action that all horror fans will love.

There's also an excellent punk rock soundtrack and, as an added bonus, horror scream queen Linnea Quigley appears throughout virtually the whole film wearing nothing but a G-string and a pair of leg warmers. It's no wonder that this film is one of my personal favourites.

Overall marks 8/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag line "Back from the grave and ready to party.

  • Director Dan O'Bannon also wrote and did the screenplays for sci-fi shockers Alien and Total Recall.

  • There is an excellent soundtrack album of the film available, featuring The Damned, The Cramps and many other punk bands. I have yet to track down a copy, but the music in the film rocks!

  • The movie was originally going to be filmed in 3D.

  • Friday the 13th fans may recognise Thom Mathews, who played "Tommy Jarvis" in part 6 and Miguel Nunez, who played the trailer punk "Demon" in part 5.

  • The original version of the script was written by John Russo, who produced the original "Night of the Living Dead". However, owing to legal action by George Romero, Russo was not allowed to market the script as being a sequel to his "Living Dead" films. When producer Tom Fox bought Russo's script, he asked director Dan O'Bannon to rewrite it, which introduced the punk rockers and added more comedy.

  • Tobe Hooper was originally going to direct the film, but had to back out as he was busy with the film "Lifeforce".

  • Linnea Quigley has a long running history as a "scream queen". Some of the more notable movies she has been involved with are "Night of the Demons", "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers" and "Pumpkinhead 2". She also had a cameo role, lampooning herself, in the film "Mutronics the Movie" (aka The Guyver).

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