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The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

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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
2,352 ( 742)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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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 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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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:

$4,403,000, 18 August 1985, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,237,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hemdale, Fox Films See more »
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Half-Corpse" zombie character was an animatronic puppet created by Tony Gardner and puppeteered by Gardner, actor Brian Peck ("Scuz"), and Production Designer William Stout. This character launched Tony Gardner's career as an independent makeup effects artist. See more »

Goofs

When Burt is scolding Freddy and Frank (when he is talking about "destroying all the evidence" and "keeping our mouths shut"" before the camera cuts his hair is messed up but when it transitions to the next camera cut his hair looks normal again. See more »

Quotes

Tarman: BRAINS! Live brains!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits play over the hilarious scenes of the movie that involve Frank and Freddy. 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

Spoofed in Robot Chicken: Cracked China (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Tonight (We'll Make Love Until We Die)
Performed by SSQ
Composed by Jon St. James, Stacey Swain
Produced by Jon St. James for Formula One Music Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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