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.


Dan O'Bannon


Rudy Ricci (story), John A. Russo (story) (as John Russo) | 2 more credits »
872 ( 2,424)
4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Clu Gulager ... Burt
James Karen ... Frank
Don Calfa ... Ernie
Thom Mathews ... Freddy
Beverly Randolph ... Tina
John Philbin ... Chuck
Jewel Shepard Jewel Shepard ... Casey
Miguel A. Núñez Jr. ... Spider (as Miguel Nunez)
Brian Peck ... Scuz
Linnea Quigley ... Trash
Mark Venturini ... Suicide
Jonathan Terry ... Colonel Glover
Cathleen Cordell ... Colonel's Wife
Drew Deighan ... Paramedic #1
James Dalesandro ... Paramedic #2


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


They're Back From The Grave and Ready To Party!


Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Jewel Shepard had tremendous difficulty with her "Go choke a chicken" line because she didn't know what the phrase meant. As a direct result of this, forty-five takes were done before Shepard finally said the line right. See more »


The skeleton that rises out of ground in the final before credits has a perfect pair of blue eyes in it's skull. The human eye soft tissue and liquid and would have rotted completely away if it had been the ground long enough to fully skeletonize. See more »


Burt Wilson: One question, Frank: this guy screaming in here... you're sure he's a dead cadaver?
Frank: Why don't you open the door and find out!
Burt Wilson: [hesitates] Uh... no, that's allright Frank, I'll take your word for that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The following phony disclaimer precedes the movie: "The events portrayed in this film are all true. The names are real names of real people and real organizations." See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK DVD release from Tartan Video retains the original unaltered audio. See more »


Referenced in Bob's Burgers: The Frond Files (2014) See more »


Tonight (We'll Make Love Until We Die)
Performed by SSQ
Composed by John McCafferty, Stacey Swain
Produced by John McCafferty for Formula One Music Productions
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User Reviews

This movie is like very little else out there
7 July 2017 | by spencergrande6See all my reviews

This movie is like very little else out there. It's a zombie comedy that isn't a full-on splatterfest like most, doesn't offer some overly humorous social satire (there's subtle jabs at Agent Orange and Nazis), and doesn't have a high-concept premise (for a zombie movies that is). What you have is dry as hell, with punk rockers (timely for the time - Repo Man meets zombies?), Nazi morticians smoking pipes and listening to their Walkman while embalming, and Quigley nudity for its own sake, but characters are in on it and equally celebrate and scold her. It has iconic scenes and quotes though I'm sure a lot of people have no idea they're actually from this.

It just works - it's funny, weird, creepy, gory, and always entertaining. A hard mix to pull off and one that happens with success very rarely. It's always said that there's a fine line between horror and comedy - the pros can straddle it like a daring high-wire act and this is one of them. If only the ending weren't so abruptly anti- climactic and there were a few more naked zombie Quigley kill scenes it'd be a perfect cult classic.

Gotta love the very serious Suicide while naked Quigley grinds on him: "No one understands me, you know that." "You think this is a f***in' costume? This is a way of life." "Hey, what's wrong with you, man? Show some f***ing respect for the dead, will ya?" All this because he was called a "spooky motherf***er."

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

MGM | MySpace





Release Date:

16 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Return of the Living Dead See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,403,169, 18 August 1985

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (workprint)

Sound Mix:



Color (CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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