Having recently witnessed the horrific results of a top secret project to bring the dead back to life, a distraught youth performs the operation on his girlfriend after she's killed in a motorcycle accident.
James T. Callahan,
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
When a bumbling pair of employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to re-animate as they go on a rampage through Louisville, Kentucky seeking their favorite food, brains. Written by
Todd A. Bobenrieth <TAB146@PSUVM.EDU>
Director Dan O'Bannon was originally supposed to play Frank and he wrote the part with himself in mind, but when James Karen came in to read for another part, O'Bannon was simply blown away and hired him on the spot. See more »
(at around 55 mins) When the Zombie calls for more paramedics, you can see where the white paint on his hand ends and his real skin is visible. See more »
"The Return of the Living Dead" has held a special place in my heart for a very long time. This satirical take on Romero's classic (if you don't know which one, you shouldn't be reading this) is one of the greatest horror films ever made and is also one of the most respected. The direction by Dan O'Bannon, writer of "Alien" (also one of the greatest), is superb and Jules Brenner's cinematography is stunning for a film not shot in a widescreen aspect ratio (it was shot 1.37:1 full frame to save money). The scene with the rising of the zombies is best described as hauntingly beautiful yet chilling. The cast gives great performances and the special effects are astounding, as is Matt Clifford's rousing score. The nasty going-ons is highlighted by a powerful metal soundtrack featuring The Cramps and Billy Idol.
The plot concerns some nasty chemical that has the ability to bring the dead back to life. When a barrel of the stuff is accidentally opened, all hell breaks loose: the cast is forced to do battle with scores of zombies (this time hungry for brains). Twists and turns abound as the cast is trapped at Ground Zero-the epicenter of the plague, if you will. All of the characters are likely even though they are mostly sleazy and corrupt. Linnea Quigley is great as Trash as is Clu Gulager as the corrupt warehouse owner. The zombies themselves are fun to watch; be warned, however, that they are not the usual slow, shuffling stiffs we've all come to love.
All in all, "The Return of the Living Dead" is an amazing thrill ride that will remain in your mind long after it's over. Do yourself a favor and seek out this cult classic. You won't regret it!
84 of 94 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?