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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
3,512 ( 249)
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

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

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 »

Goofs

(at around 1 hr 13 mins) When Frank is going to cremate himself, he turns up the fire in the crematorium, and then climbs on the slate. He then pushes the slate inside the crematorium. He does not scream in pain from the burning flames which have been burning him for more than a few seconds, and he even hesitates slightly before reaching outside the door to press the button to lower it. See more »

Quotes

Suicide: How come you guys only come around when you need a ride someplace?
Spider: 'Cause you're one spooky motherfucker, man.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The phrase "F*ck You" is written on the back of Freddy's jacket. When some of the scenes were re-shot for television, the phrase on his jacket was jokingly altered to "Television Version." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spooky Buddies (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Burn the Flames
Performed by Roky Erickson
Composed by Roky Erickson
Produced by Duane Aslaksen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Straight comedy..."
13 March 2002 | by poe426See all my reviews

The best comedy is played straight, and there are few films "straighter" than horror movies (in which the intent is, ostensibly, to terrify). Dan O'Bannon's "straight comedy" is gut-bustingly funny. [I also remember being impressed by his performance in the delightful DARK STAR, which turned up at an art house showing along with the STAR WARS parody, HARDWARE WARS.] Intense, and boasting great music and some of the best performances ever seen in a fright film (including Clu Gulager, James Karen and Don Calfa, veterans all, whose frantic on-screen antics are the cornerstones of this film), RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD is one of those "must-see" movies no serious fan should miss. The cinematography is simply stunning, and the fx are 100% believable. It's amazing that O'Bannon hasn't directed more often: it's clear that he belongs behind a camera.


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