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.
James T. Callahan,
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.
In this first sequel to The Return of the Living Dead, a group of kids discover one of the drums containing a rotting corpse and release the 2-4-5 Trioxen gas into the air, causing the dead to once again rise from the grave and seek out brains. Written by
Todd A. Bobenrieth <TAB146@PSUVM.EDU>
Horror and Comedy have been blended together in so many films, especially in the 1980 and 90s. Sam Raimi did it with his 'Evil Dead' films and Peter Jackson, who has achieved blockbuster success in recent years, with his earlier work. This is really tricky though because if the balance between the two is off then it could fail in one or more areas. One example of this is 'House II: The Second Story,' which lacks that balance and the silly humor takes over. Had this been the case with 1985s 'The Return of the Living Dead' it probably wouldn't have turned out as well as it did, but thankfully it ended up being a genre classic. Can the same be said for this first of four sequels?
Pros: Cast does a good job. A decent score and pretty cool soundtrack. Fast-paced. Excellent special and make-up effects. Some of the humor works. Like the first film, you get the feeling this was a labor of love. Writer/director Widerhorn adds some stylish touches and neat ideas. Has a fair share of camp value.
Cons: Some of the humor is just too silly and falls flat. Lacks the inventiveness of the original. The first one has humor too, but still managed to have some good chills, something sorely missing here. Even less plot this time.
Final thoughts: The first 'Return of the Living Dead' was a tough act to follow and though the makers of this first sequel tried hard, they didn't even equal it. Does that mean it's not worth a shot? No way because there's still a lot of good here and the movie is fun to watch. It's also the only sequel to the original that comes close to capturing it's essence.
My rating: 3.5/5
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