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The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

R  |   |  Comedy, Horror  |  16 August 1985 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 35,419 users  
Reviews: 292 user | 178 critic

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.

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(story), (story) (as John Russo) , 2 more credits »
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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
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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

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

According to Jewel Shepard (Casey), Dan O'Bannon met her at a strip club where she worked as a stripper. He initially wanted her in the role of Trash, but she was at the time fed up with being naked. She then suggested to Dan O'Bannon that she could audition for the role of Casey - the party girl, since she liked to party. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 hr 13 mins) When Frank is going to cremate himself, he turns up the fire in the crematorium, and then climbs on the slate. He then pushes the slate inside the crematorium. He does not scream in pain from the burning flames which have been burning him for more than a few seconds, and he even hesitates slightly before reaching outside the door to press the button to lower it. See more »

Quotes

Frank: Let me ask you a question: did you ever see that movie, "Night of the Living Dead"?
Freddy: Oh, yeah, yeah - that's the one where the corpses start eating the people, right? What about it?
Frank: Did you know that story was based on a true case?
Freddy: [chuckles] Aw, c'mon, you're shitting me, right?
Frank: I ain't never been more serious in my life.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Rapture-Palooza (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Dead Beat Dance
Performed by Straw Dogs
Composed by Straw Dogs
Produced by Straw Dogs
(Used in Hemdale's 1991 Release in lieu of Dead Beat Dance)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Should be a cult classic
11 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Back in 1985 this movie was deemed "unreleasable" by its studio. They (purportedly) re cut it and quietly opened it. To their surprise it was a sizable hit leading to two sequels. I saw it twice when it came out--this movie REALLY delivers the goods to horror fans.

It starts off by saying all the events in this movie are true (???). It focuses on 2 warehouse workers played by Thom Mathews and James Karen. It turns out that the movie "Night of the Living Dead" was based on fact and the dead bodies are stored in the basement in air tight canisters with some gas keeping them asleep. One of the canisters breaks open, the dead guy comes to life and all hell breaks loose. Also, the gas leaks into a graveyard next door and all the dead people come to life...hungry for brains! And how about that group of punk kids hanging out in the graveyard--including Linnea Quigley who spends 99.9% of her screen time nude? Also, unlike "Night of..." these zombies move FAST and bullets don't hurt them...

This movie is strange. It pays homage to old zombie horror flicks and goes of on its own direction. The annoying, constantly swearing bunch of punk kids are only there to be victims--and they inexplicably have an innocent, sweet girl with them--Tina played by Beverly Randolph. The first half is very funny--expertly mixing laughs with some truly scary, gory moments. The laughs disappear completely for the second half. Then on in its a gore show and VERY disturbing. It's moves extremely quick, there are tons of people killed, the number of zombies is incredible, the special effects are great and the blood goes flying. But the change from humor to horror is jarring and some of the stuff at the end is VERY disturbing (Karens and Mathews' slow deaths are very upsetting and painful to watch and hear).

This movie is also helped by good acting. The punk kids are by the numbers (except for Randolph who is kind of fun), but Mathews is good and Karen and Gulager are hilarious in their respective roles. They all play it reasonably straight and it helps.

Gory, scary, funny--a definite must-see for horror fans. This film deserves more recognition than it's gotten.

Best line: "I think things are getting a little out of hand."


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