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The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 32,684 users  
Reviews: 284 user | 174 critic

When a bumbling pair of employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead become zombies.

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Title: The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jewel Shepard ...
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Spider (as Miguel Nunez)
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Mark Venturini ...
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Cathleen Cordell ...
Colonel's Wife
Drew Deighan ...
Paramedic #1
...
Paramedic #2
Edit

Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They're Back From The Grave and Ready To Party!

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Return of the Living Dead  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 19 mins) The gravestone to the left of the large one upon which Trash first performs her striptease has the name 'Archibald Leach' on it. This is the real name of the actor better known as Cary Grant. See more »

Goofs

When Spider and Burt rush out of the embalming room toward the police cruiser, a character can twice be seen quickly looking out of the sliding peephole in the door. The second time, it is quite obvious that the person looking out is not Tina or Ernie who by now are the only two people left in the embalming room. See more »

Quotes

Burt Wilson: One question, Frank: this guy screaming in here... you're sure he's a dead cadaver?
Frank: Why don't you open the door and find out!
Burt Wilson: [hesitates] Uh... no, that's allright Frank, I'll take your word for that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits play over the hilarious scenes of the movie that involve Frank and Freddy. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Surfin' Dead
Performed by The Cramps
Composed by Poison Ivy Rorschach (as Ivy Rorschach), Lux Interior
Produced by The Cramps
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Influential Cult Classic!!
20 July 2004 | by (Dartmouth) – See all my reviews

I saw this film when I was around 9 or 10, and I remember loving it back then. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to most of the movies I enjoyed during my youth. Imagine my surprise when I realized that not only was Return of the Living Dead every bit as much fun as when I first saw it, its actually improved!!

First off, this is NOT a serious horror film. It is meant to be viewed as a comedy. Period. Once this perspective is taken, the horror elements are subtly introduced until, towards the end, we almost begin to feel a sense of disgust with ourselves for laughing at these people. I say ALMOST because a few silly decisions here and there (it would have been nice if the movie hadn't ended with recycled footage) turn what could have been the finest, and most disturbing, horror-comedy EVER MADE into a merely excellent one.

Honestly, I challenge anyone to find a "horror-comedy" that delivers laughs, gore, some genuine scares, and combines it with what can only be called the finest acting I've ever seen in a horror-comedy (much less one from the 80's!).

James Karen, Clu Gulager, and Don Calfa absolutely STEAL this movie with their sidesplitting hysterics. Listen to the lines, note the deliveries. These guys are pros! Anyone who could THINK to call their acting "wooden" clearly knows nothing about the traps horror-comedies often fall into. Personally, I was thinking of the OD scene from Pulp Fiction the entire time. The absurdity mixed with tension was eerily similar. Tarantino (an admitted zombie-movie fan) must SURELY have seen this movie upon its initial release. Gulager in particular is just plain brilliant here, he's like a burned out shop teacher fighting zombies!!

This film is a hidden treasure in a genre all too often plagued by mediocrity.


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