7.3/10
53,001
339 user 236 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 »
Reviews
Popularity
3,066 ( 153)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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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 ... 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
Learn more

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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

The vision test on the wall reads: "Burt is a slave driver and a cheap son of a bitch who's going bald too haha" See more »

Goofs

(at around 46mins) When the two paramedics arrive on scene to examine Frank and Freddy, one asks the other about his stethoscope working because he could not find a blood pressure. The second paramedic has the same problem. However, neither are seen with the stethoscopes in their ears. See more »

Quotes

[referring to Suicide]
Casey: Well, look who it is! Your friend and mine.
Suicide: Hey, fuck you, ballbuster!
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 edited-for-TV Version cuts out all nudity, gore, swears and curses and (some delete anything like "God damn", but others go even further by deleting "Jesus Christ" or any other name-in-vain type of stuff). Some of the scenes are changed around, slightly. For instance, the part where Casey (Jewel Shepard) say to Chuck (John Philbin): "Oh great here's your friend and mine!" Suicides reply "Hey F**k you, ball-buster!" is changed to "I mean I got somethin' to say, ya know!". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Zomboat!: Episode #1.5 (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

The Trioxin Theme
(Main Title)
Performed by Francis Haines
Composed by Francis Haines
Produced by Simon Heyworth
See more »

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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