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The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 32,880 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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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
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Paramedic #2
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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

The cemetery is called "Resurrection Cemetery". See more »

Goofs

The ash from the mortuary incinerator is implied to mix with the rain that is falling to make a zombie creating brew. Even though the amount of rain is shown to be a heavy downpour (several inches accumulate in the cemetery in a short amount of time) there is no way that the rain/ash mix could penetrate through six feet of soil and a coffin in the short time portrayed. Even heavy rains will penetrate no more than a few inches of soil. It takes months if not years for water to penetrate to lower layers of soil. This is even more the case given the soil type that is around the Louisville Ky region where the movie is supposed to take place. See more »

Quotes

Spider: I ain't in no mood to die tonight.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: Day of the Dead (2013) 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.


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