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The Return of the Living Dead (1985) Poster

Alternate Versions

The DVD release has had some changes in the audio compared to the original version :
  • The TSOL song has been replaced with another song


  • The Tar Man's voice has been re-recorded. However, the original Tar Man voice can be heard briefly during the closing credit sequence.


  • The line "send more cops" has also been re-recorded


  • The song "Take a walk" has been removed, now you only hear it for a few seconds with no vocals.


  • The song "Burn the flames" has also been shortened.


The UK DVD release from Tartan Video retains the original unaltered audio.
On a limited number of VHS tapes, released in 1986 and 1987, the first scene showing the Army Colonel arriving home and discussing his work with his wife is omitted from the beginning of the film. This leaves the viewer at a disadvantage when Burt calls the "Zombie Hotline" at the end of the film, and is connected to the same Colonel who the viewers do not yet know.
The original version of the movie had "The Damned's 'Dead Beat Dance'" on the scene where all of the punks are driving in Suicide's car, but some versions have a different song and it is a little longer. You can tell if the version you have is the original if there is loud laughter after Col. Glover says "Look, we've been through all this before. They could be anywhere" to his wife.
The edited-for-TV Version cuts out all nudity, gore, swears and curses and (some delete anything like "God damn", but others go even further by deleting "Jesus Christ" or any other name-in-vain type of stuff). Some of the scenes are changed around, slightly. For instance, the part where Casey (Jewel Shepard) say to Chuck (John Philbin): "Oh great here's your friend and mine!" Suicides reply "Hey F**k you, ball-buster!" is changed to "I mean I got somethin' to say, ya know!".
German version is edited to remove most blood and gore and the final scene stops before the zombie appears from the grave.
A workprint version is about 20 minutes longer than the theatrical release. Additional material includes:
  • An extended scene that takes place after frank shows Freddy the split dogs, but before he shows him the cadaver in the freezer. Frank shows Freddy a tank of oxygen and tells him how explosive it is.


  • A deleted scene after Frank shows Freddy the cadaver. Freddy asks how late are they working. When Frank tells Freddy, Freddy says he has a date with Tina. Frank says it's a good thing it's a girl because he was nervous about the earring Freddy had. Frank also tells Freddy that he has to close the cadaver room tight because it pops open.


  • An extended scene where the punks are walking down the street. After Casey says they should all go pick Freddy up, Tina says that it's only him and her alone going out, meaning that Tina never really wanted to hang out with them that night. This scene also has some more profanity and it also introduces the character Suicide as Trash tells the punks that he has a car.


  • A deleted scene as Freddy is looking at the medical book, Frank looks outside an says "It smells like rain!"


  • An alternate, and longer take of Frank telling Freddy about the events in the 1960's with The Night Of The Living Dead. This scene version of the scene also has some extra dialogue where Freddy says that Night Of The Living Dead was on of the best movies ever. He also says it's impossible that it's true cause he would have heard about it. An extended scene where the punks are deciding what to do. As Chuck suggests that they hang in the cemetery, Suicide says, "lets pay our f***ing respects!"


  • A deleted scene that shows Scuz, Spider, and Casey looking into a mausoleum and seeing all sorts of debris littered inside by other people who had previously partied there. Spider replies, "I don't ever want to be buried in a place like this!" then Scuz pinches Casey as she calls him a dork.


  • Extended scene from when the punks are all screaming about the zombie in the basement. As Tina suggests they call the cops, Scuz replies, "no because they'll kick out a**!" Casey and Chuck then tell the others where they saw Freddy. Tina gets mad for them not telling her.


Also a never-before-seen opening and ending was shot.
The phrase "F*ck You" is written on the back of Freddy's jacket. When some of the scenes were re-shot for television, the phrase on his jacket was jokingly altered to "Television Version."
2002 DVD release (MGM DVD) appears to restore much of the music to its original design.
Some more additional material in the "Workprint" version:
  • Extended footage of Ernie preparing the corpse (inserting a set of clamps, putting a rubber block under its chin, applying makeup, stapling its face)


  • Instead of calling Casey "Ballbuster," Suicide calls her "Chocolate Face" (presumably a reference to the chocolate bar she is eating earlier in the movie).


  • Trash, wandering by herself in the graveyard and crying, says "Hey wait, you guys, I ain't got no shoes!" The scene ends before she is attacked. Her actual attack by the corpses is moved to a later spot in the film.


  • When Ernie tries to use the phone in the office, the take is very different from the one in the released version: he doesn't close the steel shutters, leaving the window wide open.


  • When Spider demands to know what's going on, Bert calls him a "Black Bastard," and he goes into more detail about what the chemical does to the corpses.


  • Freddy's attack on Tina is extended and cut a little differently: they circle around the podium at the front of the chapel, which he knocks over. She runs to the door, he follows and slams into it. He pushes her down on a pew and she kicks him off (which is where the scene in the released version actually begins). Before throwing the candlestick at him she throws a folding chair, which he knocks aside. There is an additional shot of Frank running down the hallway.


  • Ernie comforts Tina by saying "Don't you worry about Freddy and Frank. You see, they've gone to heaven. Those things out there...they're just dead bodies that want to eat our brains."


  • Frank's cremation is much longer: it starts with a closeup of Frank staring at something. The camera slowly pulls back to show that he's staring at the furnace across the room. He stands and groans, the furnace tilts back and forth in a dreamlike way, he mouths a prayer just before putting his wedding ring on the furnace switch.


  • The scene where Bert and Spider are preparing to leave the mortuary is an alternate take, with different dialogue. Instead of telling Bert to watch his "ass out there," he says "no matter what happens, don't name it after me." Tina wonders what they should do if Bert and Spider don't make it, and Bert tells her to "think positive."


  • Bert's call to the police is longer: he is put on hold by the operator, and gives more details about what's happening and where he is.


  • After the nuclear weapon explodes, a voice-over explains that the disaster was "officially described as a petrochemical refinery accident," and that the contaminated dirt from the incident is "residing in 175 railroad cars, parked on an unused railway line in South Dakota."


See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Connections | Soundtracks

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