Return of the Living Dead II (1988) Poster

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'Return of the Living Dead Part II'
rah60423 April 2004
In this sequel to 'The Return of the Living Dead', three neighborhood kids stumble upon one of those army drums and accidently release the gas that revives the dead. What follows is basically the same horror mayhem as its predecessor. Zombies rise from the graveyard and remarkably manage to eat the brains of everyone except for the few people within which the movie revolves around. The two movies are pretty much similar in terms of content, but what is lacking this time around is freshness.

The first movie took a satirical approach to George Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead', and it worked in terms of humor and creepy fun. In this film, which is basically a carbon copy of the first, it is not quite as much fun. Rather, it seems to be more silly than funny. The script strains for humor throughout the movie, particularly in a scene in which the movie mocks Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' video. But its flaws don't really matter because this is not the kind of movie to be taken seriously. I guess that it can be a decent movie to watch on a Halloween night.

Rating: (5/10)
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Not much here, pretty stupid actually...
ehosh24949 April 2002
...I hate to say it, but this movie is nothing compared to the original, seriously. Thom Mathews and James Karen are back, playing different roles of course, as grave robbers, and there are also a bunch of young middle school kids, a teenage girl and another guy fleeing in terror from more brain-munching zombies, resurrected from their peaceful slumber yet again by the weird chemical from the original. This is missing the great punk/rock/metal soundtrack, humor, punk rock characters, and gore from the original, so basically it falls flat and never goes anywhere. I was getting really bored. If you want a rehash, this is your dish I guess, but otherwise this movie flat out blows. Watch the first one again.
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Zombie massacre!
insomniac_rod27 August 2006
I still remember how I got into this movie. The VHS cover was very cheesy but at the same time it was intriguing. I remember avoiding this one until it was the last VHS on my local video store Horror shelf. When I rented it in the early 90's, I wasn't a bit disappointed but I forgot about it pretty soon.

Years after, I watched it on DVD and the memories are still fresh! This movie isn't better than the original but still has it's own good moments. Thom Matthews reprises his lead role and delivers a great performance. The direction is pretty good for the movie's standards and I must admit that this is a visually stunning low budgeter.

The ending is among the best of any zombie flicks for it's unique cheesiness and non-stop action.

Watch this sequel only for fun purposes, do not watch it as a straight Horror movie because it might disappoint you.
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More of a comedy this time around.
Aaron137525 March 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This was an ok sequel to the original. Though I liked the first one much better. This time around one of those drums from the first one falls off a truck and these kids open it, once again awakening the living dead. This time around though, it is definitely more of a comedy than a horror. The first one had quite a bit of comedy in it, but in the end I would say it was more horror...this one has very little horror in it. A kid, his sister, and I think a TV or cable repairman must try to escape the living dead. There is also an old guy who was a doctor. There are also two grave robbers who are the exact two guys who released the chemicals in the first one and a girlfriend of the younger guy. Once again the zombies are seemingly indestructible, but this time a weakness is found in the form of electricity. So the conclusion to this one occurs at an electrical plant. The kid must face down the bully who released the chemical too. Would have been a better movie if it was more horror oriented, but it is still worth a look. The slimey zombie from the first one also makes a brief appearance.
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Was this rated G?
xenophonnelson25 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
What was the point of the movie titled return of the living dead part 2? It doesn't really make sense that there would still be any barrels of that toxic stuff after the huge bomb in the first movie wiped everything out. Why did the people even bother trying to live when they realize that the ghoulish things don't even respond to anything but aerobic videos and 80s music. It was really embarrassing to see the thriller Michael Jackson semi-cameo thing at the end. Who's lame idea was it to have electricity stop the wandering wormbags, wow, what a terribly finish to a ,well, awful try at impressing the kids. Six year old's can't get into R-rated movies. Please don't rent this and ruin your night.
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munch,munch...mmmm human brains!!
gpolice_9714 March 2002
This film is Awesome!!! the zombies are creepy, and the film maintains that "night of the living dead" feel to it....not too campy, just right....and the electrocuted zombies is a classic scene!!!

I Really enjoy this film, this gorefest seems to hold its own with horror fans, and although it has a (part 2) attached, isnt really a sequel per se, its more of another telling of zombies attacking people!

this film is horror at its best! its campy, its fun, its Zombie time!
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Completely and Totally Inane, but Wildly Entertaining
WritnGuy-217 April 2000
I saw this on the Sci-Fi Channel yesterday, and I was meaning to rent it for a while, so I was glad I'd get a chance to see it. And despite how amazingly mindless this was, it was so entertaining, and kept my interest the whole duration of the film.

Young Jesse is going to be initiated into some club, led by bully and tough-guy Billy. They find a drum of toxic gas at the graveyard, and open it up, only for Billy to be covered in the stuff, and Jesse locked in the mortuary. Meanwhile, teenaged Johnny is leaving his ditzy girlfriend Brenda for a night to help out Ed, who needs to get the heads of some buried bodies for some museum or science lab, I don't remember. They find Jesse, who then escapes home, where his older teenage sister Lucy berates him for being out, and locks him in the room when the cable guy, teenaged Tom, shows up. This is all just the setup of characters when the gas from the drum escapes out into the graveyard, and even comes in contact with Ed and Johnny. Soon, zombies are rising up for fresh brains, and after the town is evacuated (except for the select few, who don't get away) and sealed off by the army, all hell breaks loose. With the help of Doc, next door to Jesse and Lucy, the handful of likable characters fights to escape and survive, all up to the surprisingly suspenseful climax.

This is by far one of the most brainless horror movies, seeing as that it has more comedy than horror, but my God, I could not get over how entertaining this really was. I mean, from start to finish, my interest was held. I liked all the characters, I laughed a few times, I was scared a few times, and really liked this. I recommend this, without a doubt, for anyone looking to just watch something fun and exciting, and not think, for about ninety minutes. Definitely rent, buy, or look out for this on TV. It's a great movie!
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Funny Zombie Cult Movie
Claudio Carvalho14 January 2015
While transporting drums of the dangerous Trioxin gas, one of them falls from the army truck into a river. In the morning, the boy Jesse Wilson (Michael Kenworthy) is bullied by the older Billy (Thor Van Lingen) and Johnny (Jason Hogan) and he hides himself under a bridge nearby the cemetery. The two bullies find Jesse and they see the barrel. Then the bullies lock Jesse in a mausoleum and they decide to open the barrel, releasing the Trioxin and breathing the toxic gas. Meanwhile the grave robber Ed (James Karen) hires Joey (Thom Mathews) to help him to pillage the graves and they go to the cemetery in a van with Joey's girlfriend Brenda (Suzanne Snyder). Ed and Joey go to the mausoleum and Jesse is released and runs home. His sister Lucy Wilson (Marsha Dietlein) tells him to do the homework. Then the cable guy Tom Essex (Dana Ashbrook) arrives to fix the television and he recognizes Lucy from the high- school. Soon the Trioxin awakes the dead in the cemetery and the town is crowded with hordes of zombies. Ed, Joey and Brenda run to Jesse's house and team up with Lucy and Tom trying to survive to the brain eaters.

"Return of the Living Dead: Part II" is a funny zombie cult movie. This sequel is a comedy with action, with good special effects and creepy zombies. There are the usual stupid attitudes from the characters but it is highly entertaining. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "A Volta dos Mortos Vivos - Parte 2" ("The Return of the Living Dead: Part II")
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Gafke23 July 2004
This lame sequel has nothing to do with the first film except for the presence of the chemical 245 Trioxin which, at films beginning, rolls off of an army truck and lands in a ditch outside of a planned suburban community. Soon, obnoxious children are munching on their mommy's brains and the military is evacuating the neighborhood. Except they forgot about an annoying, aerobics obsessed teenage girl, her little brother and her potential boyfriend. Or maybe they didn't forget, and just wanted to see them all die as much as I did. James Karen and Thom Mathews are back, but they're given little to do and end up trying to reprise their witty roles from the first film, an attempt which falls sadly flat.

I was terribly disappointed in this sequel to the hilarious and innovative first film. Not even the presence of Brian Peck ("Scuz" from the first film) dressed up as a Michael Jackson zombie, could save this film for me. It's slow, it's dull, the acting is awful, the characters are unlikable and the premise is weak. It could have been so much better. Stick with the first film and skip this flop.
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Ernest meets a Zombie.
Rooster997 September 2004
Absolutely awful follow-up to a cult classic. This movie lacked everything that made Return of the Living Dead so enjoyable. In that movie, there was suspense, horror, comedy, good effects, restricted content, etc.. this lame sequel had none of that. It was more like an Ernest film with characters constantly looking at each other and fake-screaming, before running off in every direction as if they were in a screwball comedy. Horrible, just horrible. The acting was terrible, the effects were lame, but by far the worst was the constant "Home Alone"-type action. This movie was made for 5-year olds! Just about as bad as a sequel can possibly get.

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Not funny. Not scary. Not campy. Not good.
bcantos61622 May 2007
Caught this on HBO the other night. It's about some kids living in a quintessential suburban cul de sac blight that meet the slow witted slow moving zombie menace brought about by banned government tests. Let's just say it was really really hard to sit through the whole thing.

Okay, if you want to make a campy zombie movie go for it but at least be clever or funny. This is neither.

Okay, then what about scary? Nothing scary. These zombies couldn't catch a grandmother with a broken hip.

After the first ten minutes or so you'll be asking yourself, "What was the intent of the film makers? Not to scare me. Not to make me laugh. Not to put an effort into production values. Not to find capable actors. Not to make socio-political allegory. Not to... well you get the point. Stay away from this one.
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Not nearly as good as the first film.
Deviant-73 February 1999
Honestly, this is a very bad movie. The first Return of the Living Dead was a great movie, and highly entertaining. This second part, however, was just plain stupid! The acting was poor, the script was poor, and there is virtually NO GORE! I think there are only three or four deaths in this film, and they are all incredibly LAME. The zombies in this film are supposed to be funny, but I never laughed once. Stay away from this one, watch the first one instead.
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Run ! Here Comes The Sequel !
aesgaard4131 March 2001
Did we really need a sequel ? We have nearly the same plot, some of the same actors, definitely some of the same lines and practically the same actors. Yet, right when Thom Matthews was about to be type-cast in horror movies, he said, "Sure, I'll do it." Later, you know he screaming, " They drove up to my house and dumped a truck load of money on my front porch......" I mean, what are the odds that two idiots who look exactly alike will befall the same fate ? Admittedly, Thom and James Karen could make a very funny comedy team, but not in the same roles saying the same things like some asinine Martin and Lewis series. That said, this movie is a lot funnier than the first. Phillip Bruns replaces Don Calfa and has some very funny lines. A sub-plot involves juvenile delinquency and acceptance as the zombies horse around, steal the scenes and get in the way. One in particular in a dark suit and a few others just keep returning in other scenes as if that wasn't really obvious. I guess there was a shortage in extras. Mitch Pileggi of the X-Files has a very obvious role and I'm sure I recognized the zombie on the hospital phone as from an old episode of the original Twilight Zone. If I had written the script, I would have tossed in a vampire to spar with the zombies because he sure would have been immune to that bite of their's.
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probably least favorite among the 'Return of' movies; not without some laughs and zombie thrills
MisterWhiplash16 July 2006
Return of the Living Dead Part 2 is too cheesy, self-referential, inane, and almost tries for so much (with more money and more locations/zombies) it falls flat on its face. There are some very good moments though underneath the very broad strokes from the script. The make-up and effects almost try to one-up the first film, even if that too sometimes lacks a certain demented sense of humor not tapped well. The simple story this time follows the same set of cannisters that let out the cork of the story, and once an 'egg hatches', as in the film film, it lets out a wrath via acid-rain and smoke that rises the dead and infects our heroes from the last film (played in performances not as hysterically spot-on as in the first entry by James Karen and Thom Matthews). This time there's also the heroic kid, a couple of screamingly hectic girls, and an odd-ball doctor (among the living that is). There's even a paper-thin sub-plot involving the boy and his soon zombified brother. And, in the end, it all leads to the power station where electricity now comes into play.

The soundtrack to the movie actually is one of the better parts of the movie (the original 80's soundtrack that is, not the new one on DVD)- some songs of course very dated, though still quite appropriate in their frozen 80s metal state of mind. There's also quite a good laugh hearing an unexpected Robert Palmer 'Doctor Doctor' song involving the soon-to-be-undead. And sometimes the little gags and puns thrown in, either through dialog of an obvious satirical jab (i.e. zombies stop everything that they do to watch a TV), do work enough to watch it from start to finish without having some good times. But there are downsides that do come with, almost, being too much like a goofy story than delivering genuine scares. The writer/director, Ken Wiederhorn, lacks the real skill of balancing more delirious and crazy moments that build on some laughs based on practically lampooning zombie movies, and doesn't have the same measured control as Dan O'Bannon did with Part 1. Little gags like driving zombies don't work as well as just simple insane looks from the actors- which for the most part is just average and banal (aside from the odd doctor who is just, well, odd).

I wouldn't rush to see Return of the Living Dead part 2, unless you're really a zombie-movie fan, or have seen the other 2 (discounting the direct to video sequels), OR want a couple of dumb tongue-in-cheek references to Michael Jackson's Thriller video. Good enough as a very standard zombie movie, but with potential that goes to waste. C+
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Waste of Time!
jason-andrews-15 October 2005
I don't think I have seen a supposed 'horror' movie this cheesy in years, compared to the first 'Night of the Living Dead' I would have to say this movie must have cost under $25k to make....acting was horrible and annoying, effects were about as scary as my five year old's scream mask, and the overall movie was just a comedy show....its no wonder this was only $1.95 on my pay per view channel, wow! We cannot use the excuse that this is an 80's film as I have seen some awesome horror flicks from back then but this film must have been found in the garbage or something....don't waste your time or money on this.

Dawn of the Dead is still the best cult classic out there I think.
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Brains! Brains!
Big Movie Fan10 November 2002
How could they ever top the truly ridiculous Return of the Living Dead? Easy, they did it with this even more ridiculous film.

Once again, military gas becomes airborne and it revives the living dead who are only interested in one thing-feasting on human brains. Fans of the original film will know what to expect-absolute stupidity.

Whilst the film is intentionally funny, there is also a bit of gore as well because the no. 1 food for zombies is human brain and we get to see them munch on brains a few times.

The zombies are ridiculous but the people being chased by them are even more ridiculous and the climax is just crazy.

A great film that was followed by the serious Return Of The Living Dead 3.
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Revenge of the 80's: The unnecessary sequel!
Joseph P. Ulibas11 June 2004
Return of the Living Dead II (1988) was a worthless and unnecessary sequel to the classic Return of the Living Dead. I have no love for crappy sequels and the 80's was filled with them. This is your typical 80's flick filled with dated humor, bad acting and very little gore. The makers were probably aiming for a P.G.-13 film but this was when the R-rating was box office gold (especially for the horror film genre). Like all of these unnecessary sequels, it's too cute for it's own good and it shoots it's self in both feet in doing so. But it does have a couple of chuckles (and I do mean a couple). Not bad if it's on cable or satellite T.V. but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it.

Not recommended.
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'80s horror is the greatest thing ever
Casey_Moriarty26 May 2008
I don't know what it is that makes the horror films of the 1980s so much fun. Maybe it's the fact that the sophistication of special effects in films probably peaked somewhere around here, before CGI came along in the 90s and took all the fun out of them. Maybe it's the fact that a little humor was necessary after all the brutal and nihilistic horror films of the '70s. Or maybe it's the over-the-top quality that pervaded everything produced in this decade. I don't know. But this movie is a blast. It reminds me more of a Warner Brothers cartoon than a George Romero-style zombie film; because it's a slapstick movie but unlike in other films of this kind from this time period, the humor doesn't come from extreme gross-out moments. It comes from the attention to details such as a zombie needing to put its glasses on when it rises from the grave; or from a zombie walking around with a jar of brains like it's a glass of beer. It comes from the pause between asking a zombie who the president is and his gruff, "Harry Truman?" I loved it. If you have any sense of giddiness when you are channel surfing and come across one of the '80s beloved horror comedies, you will too.
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I liked it a lot
brodiebruce12 January 2003
I enjopyed this tremendously. It was one of the first zombie films I saw, and first of the Return series. A mix of horror and comedy can so easily be done wrong so this time out, Director Weiderhorn decided to go all out on pure entertainment-almost a light-hearted comedy on the undead. Some jokes fall flat (severed hand giving the finger, probably lifted from Evil Dead 2) but the fun of the film will draw most in and bring back nostalgic memories of the 1980s. The opening credits have recieved a lot of crap as they don't set up the plot the same way the first Return's did. But I like the song (Julian Cope's Spacehopper) and it really caught my attention and got me in a silly mood. The song is probably this film's equivilant of the first's PartyTime sequence.

Some might call it lame, but they're just being too cynical. This is a good sequel in most respects and a lot of fun to watch. Like the first, it's dated in many respects but it's still a load of fun.
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another good zombie movie!
jaws!6 July 1999
this movie is more of a comedy than the first one was. the first half of the first movie is pretty much comedy,and the second half turns serious,with a few comic lines. the second one is never really serious. the whole movie is just comic horror. this time even the zombies are being silly. in the first one the zombies were not silly they were just plan deadly,but the first one is still better than the second one. but this movie has a lot of funny lines,and the zombies are fun to watch being silly. but most of the humor comes from the doc,and ed the grave robber. i give return of the living dead part II *** out

of ****
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Awful, just awful
ericphil14 May 2001
I rented all three "Return of the Living Dead" movies and watched them the same night. The first one wasn't bad and the third one was excellent, but this film was just awful. It was a virtual remake of the first film and even used some of the same characters. It tried to be funny but didn't even come close. I had a hard time staying awake through this borefest and strongly encourage all to avoid this film. Watch the first and third instead.
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Fairly decent sequel
asmushar7 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie does not deserve some of the harsh reviews it has garnered here imo. It is a much better horror film than ROTLD 3 and you can totally write off ROTLD 4+5 which were horrendous and I don't mean so bad they were good, I mean god awful! This movie centers around what looks to be a new suburban area ( so new 1/2 the houses are partially constructed). The hero here is a young boy and his sister. The characters are OK and make no mistake this film in no way approaches the original. However I did like the introduction of electricity as a means of destroying the "living dead". It has a certain sci-fi plausibility to it. Electricity essentially fry's the cadavers reanimated cns as well as every other nerve system as well in effect finally eliminating the zombie. Electrical current would also have the effect of dehydrating the reanimated tissue-so like I said sci-fi plausibility. This film is better than average and worth a look if you liked the 1st one. Again, don't expect the same quality though.
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Great sequel
ManBehindTheMask639 September 2008
This is a fun, campy, and cool sequel to the 80's classic Return of the Livind Dead. This sequel follows a group of teens who must survive after their city becomes over-run with brain eating zombies! It all starts when some kids open a barrel of Tri-oxin that accidentally fell off a Army truck. This film isn't as gory as the original, nor does it feature the charm the first one had. But this is one of the rare times when a horror sequel is actually good. The acting about as good as you'd expect from an 80's horror flick. Thom Matthews and Jim Karen come back from the original to star (they play two new characters though). The zombies are done well and there are some fun scenes and situations. This is just a fun 80's zombie flick.
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