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.
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,
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>
John A. Russo wrote a script called "The Return of the Living Dead" at the same time that George A. Romero was doing Dawn of the Dead (1978). An independent producer, Tom Fox, bought Russo's script. He set up production and gave the script to Dan O'Bannon. O'Bannon refused to direct it as it was written. He felt that it was too much of a serious attempt at making a sequel to Night of the Living Dead (1968), and did not want to "...intrude so directly on Romero's turf." It was re-written with more humor. See more »
When Frank is explaining how the original Night of the Living Dead is based on a true story, he states that the true story occurred in 1969. However Night of the Living Dead was released in 1968, a year before the incident happened. In the original script Frank said the event happened in 1966, but Dan O'Bannon changed the line because he felt it would be better if the character was unreliable. See more »
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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