Return of the Living Dead II (1988) Poster


The MPAA would have granted this film a PG-13, if the scene at the hospital where the zombie is shot in half was toned down.
Thom Mathews disliked the sequel so much that he said the best part about making the film was the outstanding craft services.
Despite having directed several horror pictures, director Ken Wiederhorn was not a fan of the horror genre. Many cast and crew members expressed in interviews that they were displeased with his lack of enthusiasm towards the project.
The street where Jesse and his family live was in fact a tract housing development still under construction.
The Michael Jackson zombie was improvised on the spot.
The music score on the DVD release is almost completely different to the original theater, laserdisc and VHS versions. This is widely said to be because of difficulties obtaining the rights to use the original score. However, the original score can be heard on the French audio track.
At the end of the original VHS tape, there is a commercial for a number that you can call to order clothing from the movie. This was a limited time offer from the company Movie Tees. You could order a white tank top, a black or white t-shirt, and a black and white sweatshirt with 3-4 different designs.
Brian Peck is the only person to have a role in the first 3 movies in the 'Return of the Living Dead' franchise. Playing the role of 'Scuz' in the first, many of the closeup zombies in the second ('Pussface', ''Thriller', 'Jaw', 'Eye-Pop', 'Zombie on Car Roof') and finally 'Ballistics Technician' in the third.
James Karen's character, Ed, says "I'm gonna get me cremated." This is how his character eventually dies in the previous film, The Return of the Living Dead (1985).
Writer/Director Ken Wiederhorn was trying to get out of the horror genre at the time Lorimar Productions bought his script. Once the film was released he received nothing but horror-comedy directing opportunities.
The cemetery and storm drain were complete outdoor sets. The mausoleum, hospital, meat packing factory, and interior houses were also purpose-built sets.
The set for Jesse's bedroom is the same one used for Billy's. Posters and furniture were re-arranged to change the look.
The blue electrocution lines in the final sequence were all hand-drawn frame by frame and cost over $50,000.
Thor Van Lingen (who plays trouble maker Billy) originally auditioned for the main role of Jesse.
The script was not originally written as a sequel in the "Living Dead" franchise. Producer Tom Fox was interested in Ken Wiederhorn's story, but would only finance it if he agreed to make it a part of the series.
Despite the R rating, many critics noted the film as being a "clone" of Steven Spielberg's film E.T. in tone, style and some appeal to young adults and teenagers, and the fact that there is notably less harsh language, and no nudity unlike the first film.
Don Calfa, who played Ernie Kaltenbrunner in the original Return of the Living Dead, originally auditioned for the role of Doc Mandel before Philip Bruns got the part.
The issue of "Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man" that Jesse takes out of his comic-book box at the beginning of the movie is number 53, from April 1981.
Thom Mathews and James Karen nearly duplicate their roles from The Return of the Living Dead (1985) as a pair who are sickened by zombie gas. In both films they have the exchange, "Listen kid, if you like this job..." "Like this job? Like this job!"
The dialog from the operator on the Special Army Emergencies telephone line is word for word exactly the same as in The Return of the Living Dead (1985), complete with "Hold the line Mr Wilson, you are being transferred", thereby tying this films hero, Jesse, with Burt Wilson (Clu Gulager) of the earlier film.
Near the very end of the electrocution scene, a Michael Jackson impersonator zombie can be seen - a direct reference to his Thriller (1983) music video.
The fictional town the film is set in is called Westvale.

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