7.3/10
40,320
302 user 204 critic

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Trailer
2:43 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

When two bumbling employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to rise again as zombies.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) (as John Russo) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,550 ( 323)
4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Curious kids unearth the barrels that helped revive the dead of the first film, which proves the second time's an undead charm.

Director: Ken Wiederhorn
Stars: James Karen, Thom Mathews, Michael Kenworthy
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small group of military officers and scientists dwell in an underground bunker as the world above is overrun by zombies.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The unburied dead return to life and seek human victims.

Director: Tom Savini
Stars: Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, Tom Towles
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt the remain safe from these flesh eating monsters.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger
Re-Animator (1985)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton
Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

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.

Director: Brian Yuzna
Stars: Kent McCord, James T. Callahan, Sarah Douglas
Dead Alive (1992)
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody
Creepshow (1982)
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An anthology which tells five terrifying tales based on the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen, Adrienne Barbeau
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Alien brain parasites, entering humans through the mouth, turn their host into a killing zombie. Some teenagers start to fight against them.

Director: Fred Dekker
Stars: Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, Steve Marshall
Evil Dead II (1987)
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holds up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks
Fright Night (1985)
Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a teenager learns that his next door neighbour is a vampire, no one will believe him.

Director: Tom Holland
Stars: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Spider (as Miguel Nunez)
...
...
Mark Venturini ...
...
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:

 »
Edit

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:

| (Workprint Version)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Christian Sellers and Gary Smart, the authors of The Complete History of the Return of the Living Dead, returned to the franchise the same year with the feature documentary More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead. See more »

Goofs

When Ernie and Tina are in the attic, they have a bit of wood braced over the door. Just before Freddy bursts through the door, the wood has gone. See more »

Quotes

Spider: What're they doin', man?
Burt Wilson: [over the telephone to the Military Intelligence] Hang on a second, will ya?
[to Spider]
Burt Wilson: It's weird. These people seem to say they've been waiting for this to happen. Apparently, they've got some sort of contingency plan to deal with it.
Casey: That's great!
Spider: [suspiciously] What is this plan?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The following phony disclaimer precedes the movie: "The events portrayed in this film are all true. The names are real names of real people and real organizations." See more »


Soundtracks

Burn the Flames
Performed by Roky Erickson
Composed by Roky Erickson
Produced by Duane Aslaksen
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.


66 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
ROTLD Scream Factory CE kngtmat
Creepiest Scariest thatoneuglyguy
How did they get the Tar Man into the tank? Dr Wily
I'd like an explanation... thelittleclown
100 things you learned from ROTLD moldwarrior
More Brains documentary MovieloverIreland
Discuss The Return of the Living Dead (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?