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Return of the Living Dead: Part II
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Reviews & Ratings for
Return of the Living Dead II More at IMDbPro »Return of the Living Dead: Part II (original title)

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Accept it as silly, and you won't feel offended.

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
25 December 2005

Pretty much the same as the first one, "Return of the Living Dead Part II" is acceptable for what it is. James Karen actually returns for the sequel, in virtually the same sort of mealy-mouthed role. Still, this movie makes one long for the scene in the original where Linnea Quigley...well, you know. I gotta wonder what the people in the Caribbean who first told stories of zombies would have thought if they'd known that their stories would one day make for entire movie franchises, especially a movie this silly.

I should remind you that "ROTLDP2" is not meant to be taken seriously. It's totally corny, and it's proud of that. Just accept it as such.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

As a comedy works,as a horror sucks...

Author: BUTCHER-5 from Poland
22 July 2000

First of all,I don't like "Return of the Living Dead" series.The first two movies are only silly zombie/comedies without scares or excess gore,only the third part is okay.No thrills,stupid characters,cheesy zombies and gymnastic-if you like this sort of stuff,you won't be disappointed.However if you want to see a zombie gut-munchers check out Lucio Fulci's "Zombie","Gates of Hell","The Beyond" or Andrea Bianchi's "Burial Ground".

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Zombies for kids

Author: lastliberal from United States
25 April 2007

This has to be the worst example of a zombie movie ever. I cannot believe that they made four or five of these.

The entire movie was marred by these screaming girls. They just would not shut up. One even let her dead boyfriend eat her brains. How dumb can you be?

This movie had veteran actors like Dana Ashbrook and James Karen, who had to be really hard up for a paycheck to appear in a movie that is as bad as this.

If you are looking for good zombie, I suggest staying away from this series.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Return of the Living Dead 2

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
13 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

All hell breaks loose when a couple of stupid kids release "zombie gas" from a military cannister fallen from a truck. Before you know it, rain is dropping "zombie pollutants" into the graveyard soil, releasing the dead from their slumber to wreak havoc in the desperate search for brain consumption.

A handful of characters are selected by the screenplay to combat the zombies with a child named Jesse(Michael Kenworthy)the protagonist who knows the two neighbor bullies that discovered--and opened--the container causing the catastrophic events that ensue. From the previous film, James Karen and Thom Mathews return playing different characters, who were at a mausoleum robbing loot from the dead only to consume the toxic gas changing them slowly into zombies. One of the bullies bothering Jesse, Billy(Thor Van Lingen)gets singled out as a possible source of conflict for our heroes later on as he too has breathed in the deadly toxic chemicals from the zombie container. Suzanne Snyder stars as Thom Mathew's girlfriend Brenda. There's an amusing homage to the first film when Mathews has a feeling of deja vu regarding their unfortunate situation.

Nowhere near as gruesome as the first film in the series, this sequel follows a much more comedic tone, with Philip Bruns getting supplied the best zingers as Doc Mandel. While the make-up effects for this film are not up to the previous film's standards, they are still fine enough considering the limited budget. The film is really irresistibly silly with the director really using the dead zombies unfortunate situation of decay for lots of comedy bits. The ending is a bit of a stretch--having our heroes using a power plant as a means to electrocute the zombies--but the film, I felt, is entertaining enough to hold interest. It could've been much, much worse, and, at least, this has a game cast and fun-loving attitude.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Disposable sequel.

Author: gridoon
21 January 2002

A funky, campy horror-comedy, in which the "horror" and the "comedy" parts don't combine; they collide. You get some decent makeup effects and some straight brain-munching gore, then you get a silly scene (the zombies staring admiringly at a female gymnast on TV) than undermines the whole film. The acting is pretty bad, too (except for the kid and the all-too-cool doctor, the cast showcases only one acting style: unending hysteria). Overall, I'd recommend this film only to zombie-movie completists, although it's far less unpleasant to watch than the next chapter of this series. (**)

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A throughly disappointing horror/comedy sequel.

Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
17 September 2008

Sequels rarely live up to their predecessors in terms of quality, but it's not often that they manage to screw up quite as badly in every department as Return of The Living Dead Pt II: whereas the original was a brilliantly anarchic, occasionally scary, black comedy with excellent effects and a cool punk soundtrack, the sequel is a rather lame teen comedy/horror with embarrassingly silly slapstick humour, OTT performances from all involved, and weak effects (dodgy rubber masks, and badly made animatronic body parts)—all accompanied by a dire selection of nasty 80s rock tunes.

Thom Matthews and James Karen—Frank and Freddy from the first film—return for more zombie action in Part II as completely new characters, Ed and Joey, a couple of bumbling grave-robbers who, along with Joey's girlfriend Brenda, must run for their lives when troublesome chemical agent Trioxin-245 escapes from a missing army canister and brings the dead back to life.

After seeking refuge at the nearby home of teen cutie Lucy Wilson and her young brother Jesse, Ed and Joey become terribly ill (having been exposed to the deadly top-secret gas), and so the frightened duo set out to find help (accompanied by Brenda, Lucy, Jesse, a TV installation guy, and a drunk doctor). To their dismay, however, they discover that the town has been evacuated by the army, and is now completely over-run by reanimated corpses hungry for brains.

The silly script features some truly awful comedic moments, plenty of hysterical screaming from all involved, and, after many tedious and pointless chase scenes, finally finishes with a very silly showdown between the survivors and the zombies at a power plant, where the flesh-eaters are ultimately destroyed via electricity.

If you really enjoyed the first film, and are looking for more of the same, take my advice: skip this movie, and move straight onto Pt. 3, which is a whole lot of gory fun.

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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

It`s Not A Comedy

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
1 July 2003

It`s strange but a lot of people seem to be under the impression that this is a " comedy horror " but due to rather poor production values involving writing , directing and acting I cant help thinking the producers started the film off as a run of a mill horror film , realised it was going nowhere and rather cheekily decided to camp it up at the end . There`s nothing at the start of RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD PART 2 to indicate it`s out of the ordinary ( It`s rather cliched with kids in a graveyard and the usual stereotypes ) , and sticking in a Michael Jackson cameo right at the very end seems rather crass . Sorry guys you`re not fooling me into thinking this was originally a comedy horror movie

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0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

More of the same again.

Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
5 November 2011

Confession time; I never was really fond of the first "The Return of the Living Dead" in the first place. I know I'm a minority on this but the humor was very childish and simplistic to me, as was the script, while the movie itself seemed to think that it was being a very clever one. Can't really say they improved any of this in this first sequel.

I can see how this movie got mostly catered toward teenagers at the time and perhaps I would had liked this and the first movie better if I had grown up with it in the '80's. This is a problem I often have with popular '80's movies that are made for youngsters; I just don't get what's the appeal of them. This is of course not the case with just any movie but this does seem often the case with movies that are being regarded as cult-classics now days.

But luckily I'm not all on my own this time. Generally speaking "Return of the Living Dead Part II" is not a very well liked movie, which does seem a bit surprising to me, since I just can't really see how this movie is worse than the original. As a matter of fact; I honestly liked this movie a bit better than the first one, simply because I didn't felt as annoyed with it this time.

It's obviously not a great movie. It takes a far too simplistic and cliché ridden approach with things for that. The story is pretty much non-existent. Things just happen in this movie and most stuff seems very random. It doesn't follow a clear main plot line, which makes it feel like this movie is just going on and going on forever, even though the movie in fact is only about 85 minutes short. I was just pretty much fed up with all of it about an hour in already. I just couldn't care less about anything that was happening and I never got into any of the characters. I don't even remember any of their names and was actually more annoyed by most of them. The little kid is annoying (I hate it when they don't let children act like real children) but so was the screaming and shouting girl, as well as the old guy who was supposed to be funny but just never really made me laugh.

The effects are also only half successful in this. At times all of the zombie and gore effects are fantastic and quite convincing looking, while at others it's just way too fake. It's very uneven, just like the entire movie basically.

It's harmless and silly enough to still entertaining plenty of people I guess, just don't mistake it for a good movie as well.


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2 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

"Brains! I want your brains!" Entertaining enough comedy/horror.

Author: Paul Andrews ( from UK
9 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Return of the Living Dead Part II starts on a dark night as the rain pours down. A jeep stops, stencilled on the jeep's bonnet in white letters are the words 'DEPARTMENT OF ARMY TOXIC AND HAZARDOUS WASTE'. The driver gives a signal & a convoy of Army trucks start to appear in the distance. In the back of these trucks are the barrels containing the green gas that re-animates the dead from the original Return of the Living Dead (1985). One of the trucks runs over a big pothole & three of the barrels fall from the back, one of which rolls down an embankment & into a river. A young boy named Jesse Wilson (Micheal Kenworthy) is having difficulty with two local bullies, Billy (Thor Van Lingen) & his mate Johnny (Jason Hogan). After a scuffle Jesse tries to outrun them & hides in a small drainage outlet next to the local graveyard. Inside the three teenagers find the barrel, Jesse is locked into a nearby crypt in the graveyard while Billy & Johnny break the barrel open releasing the green gas which drifts over to the graveyard & with the help of the rain starts to contaminate the ground. The dead begin to rise... Meanwhile two grave-robbers named Joey (Thom Mathews) & Ed (James Karen) are stealing rings, watches & heads from various corpses. They hear noises & are attacked by zombies, together with Joey's girlfriend Brenda (Suzanne Snyder) they run for their lives to a nearby uncompleted housing development where Jesse is being looked after by his sister Lucy (Marsha Dietlein) while their parents are away, with a horde of brain eating zombies not far behind. Along with a cable T.V. repair guy named Tom Essex (Dana Ashbrook) the five decide to seek out the only other person on the estate with a car, Doc Mandel (Philip Bruns). All seven leave the estate & head into town where they find everyone has been evacuated by the Army who now shoot anyone on sight. It's up to the small group of survivors to send the dead back to their graves once & for all, or they'll lose their brains trying...

Written & directed by Ken Wiederhorn I thought Return of the Living Dead Part II was an entertaining enough comedy horror. The script is a little silly & goes for all out slapstick comedy at times which I thought didn't sit that well with the stronger horror elements, while none of it is particularly laugh-out-loud stuff I did find myself quietly smiling on occasion. On reflection maybe Return of the Living Dead Part II tries a little bit too hard to be funny, having a zombie try to grab hold of it's legs that are still walking around after he has been shotgun blasted in half, zombies stepping on other zombies hands as they rise from their graves, the Micheal Jackson cameo in a nod to his zombie filled song/music video Thriller (1983), the talking decapitated head with a funny voice, a scene where Doc Mendel recognises one of the living dead & comments "hey look, it's Harvey... It wasn't my fault Harvey we ran out of type O!" (a one-liner which I thought was pretty funny actually), the severed hand grabbing Doc Mendel's privates & more besides. Not all of it works, but as I said I did find some of it mildly amusing. Return of the Living Dead Part II moves along at a nice pace & runs just over 80 minutes, at least it isn't boring & generally something was happening to maintain my interest in an otherwise lightweight & somewhat overly simplistic story. There is a decent amount of horror on show here as well, the cool slimy zombie from the original named 'Tarman' (Allan Trautman) makes a reappearance, there is brain eating, shotgun blasting, decapitating & limb ripping fun for all even though it's not particularly graphic. Return of the Living Dead Part II is technically well made & has a certain polish throughout, it isn't going to win any awards for excellence but I've seen worse. I quite liked the music but bear in mind the version I'm reviewing is the original one & not the recent one issued on DVD with the altered soundtrack, I can't imagine watching this with different music. Now, I must admit that I have a problem with both the casting & acting in Return of the Living Dead Part II, why cast Mathews & Karen who were in the original as virtually the same characters? Some of their dialogue is exactly the same, the things they do & have happen to them will also seem somewhat familiar to anyone who's seen the original. To make matters worse Karen puts in one of the most awful performances ever, constantly whining & shouting to an extent where he became very annoying. Kenworthy as Jesse can't act & comes across as a little brat but Dietlein as his sister Lucy is pretty hot actually. Doc Mandel is funny & almost saves the film on his own, almost. Overall I quite liked Return of the Living Dead Part II, it's fairly well made & features both comedy & horror, some of which works some of which don't. Having said that the annoying characters & actor's don't help, it's very silly in places & is probably an acquired taste. Personally I think it's worth watching, but maybe as a rental or on T.V. for free for those who haven't seen it before rather than a purchase, the choice is yours...

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1 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

The weakest in the series, but still entertaining 80's horror.

Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
13 January 2005

Rapidly written and quickly paced sequel to the unexpected comedy-horror hit by Dan O'Bannon. Return of the Living Dead was a sweet film that at the same time spoofed and paid tribute to the classic George A. Romero movies, while this second entry is a lot less ambitious. Wiederhorn clearly didn't put too much thought in writing the screenplay, as the zombie-plague is caused exactly the same way as in the original. A barrel stuffed with experimental flumes rolls off a military truck and ends up in the sewers of a remote American town. The military commander simply complains "oh no…not again" and that concludes it. Yet you shouldn't bother too much about the repetitiveness as the rest of the movie is highly amusing nonsense, complete with good graphical gore and glorious OTT acting. Most of the gags are painfully unfunny (like zombies that get distracted by an aerobic video…) but the comical aspect largely lies in the little jokes. The early cemetery-sequence, in which the simultaneous resurrection of the undead causes "traffic" problems, is still the best part of the movie as far as I'm concerned. This part two is not as fun as part one and not as creative as part 3 (which was directed by Brian Yuzna) but still it's a remarkably better film than most low-budget 80's productions and it'll sure keep you entertained for as long as it lasts. Ken Wiederhorn previously directed the flamboyant "Shock Waves" which also features ugly corpses walking around…only in a different format.

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