7.3/10
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339 user 239 critic

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Trailer
2:44 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Dan O'Bannon

Writers:

Rudy Ricci (story), John A. Russo (story) (as John Russo) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,796 ( 404)
4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Don Calfa was told to get his hair dyed blonde for the role of Ernie. He, Brian Peck and Mark Venturini all went to the same hairdresser for their haircuts and colorings for their characters. See more »

Goofs

The skeleton woman who is chopped in half in the foyer of the morgue after being pulled though the barricade. As she is held in place by Spider on the floor we see a large prop, plywood or cardboard, fall and cover her completely. The shot cuts away very briefly. When it cuts back the prop has moved. See more »

Quotes

Tarman: [Spotting the other survivors] More BRAINS!
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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 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. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Houses October Built (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Under Will
Performed by The Jet Black Berries
Composed by Gary Trainer
Produced by The Jet Black Berries
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User Reviews

 
Genius from the co-creator of Alien
30 August 2004 | by mungfleshSee all my reviews

ROTLD is one of the rare cases where horror meets comedy to good effect. With some classic lines like "you gotta hit the brain" and "watch your mouth kid if you like this job", this film works because it doesn't rely solely on gore or stupidity; the script is very well written.

ROTLD pays homage to George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" but veers away from the slow lumbering zombies of the '68 classic, and instead gives us "the original" super zombies (ie before 28 days later or Dawn of the Dead remake) that are not so easily dealt with! This proves to be an interesting problem for the script to resolve which I think it does with style by the end of the movie.

The characters are a little predictable and one dimensional except for the lead pair who are introduced at the start of the movie, but that's perhaps the only flaw. What I really like about this movie is that, whilst not entirely a gorefest, it still manages to kick-ass because of the flawless plot. By this I mean that there a few scenarios where you find yourself saying "that's just dumb" or "they'd never do that" etc, which is very rare nowadays in the horror/sci-fi genre. Dramas & thrillers etc get an easy job of it because all they have to do is convince us that their reality is real-life. Horror on the other hand needs to convince that the unreality it portrays is what is real-life, and that's not always an easy task.

ROTLD is funny, sick, clever and above all entertaining if you can stomache some pretty twisted content. Personally, I love it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM | MySpace

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Return of the Living Dead See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,403,169, 18 August 1985

Gross USA:

$14,237,880

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,237,880
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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