Return of the Living Dead

I knew that I’d never be a doctor, I can’t stand the sight of blood.  Crazy, huh?  I write reviews of gory horror movies and I can’t stand the sight of blood.  I can’t even get my blood taken at the doctor’s office without practically passing out.  Working in a medical supply warehouse would probably be pretty cool though.  You get to see all types of weird medical equipment, and I’m sure all the different posters and stuff would be pretty cool.  If I do ever decide to get a job at a medical supply warehouse, I’ll make sure to ask for a tour of the place before I accept any jobs.  That way, I can see if they have any suspicious tanks or drums in their basement that say “In case of emergency, call the U.S. Army”.  See, that’s one thing Freddy forgot to do in Dan O’Bannon‘s 1985 zombie flick “Return of the Living Dead

Freddy (Thom Mathews) takes a job at a medical supply warehouse while all of his friends are out partying.  During his first day on the job, his coworker Frank (James Karen) tells Freddy that the movie “The Night of the Living Dead” was a true story, they just changed it so that the makers of the movie wouldn’t get their pants sued off.  What really happened was that some chemical spilled and got all over some dead bodies, which reanimated them and made them move around.  They put the corpses into some tanks and through some oversight, they got sent to the very warehouse they’re working in.  When they go to check out the drum, the seal breaks and the gas that was inside sprays out while the corpse inside appears to melt, and both Freddy and Frank get knocked out.

When they wake up, they don’t feel so good, and they make the discovery that one of the stored cadavers has come back to life, and wants out of the freezer.  They call in Burt (Clu Gulager), the owner of the place, to see if he knows what to do, and his idea is to destroy the thing’s brain, just like in the movies.  After a pickaxe to the skull and a hacksaw to the neck, this zombie is still running around headless, tearing up the warehouse.  They take the body to the mortuary next door to burn up the body, and that’s when things get out of control.

The smoke from the body flies up into the clouds while a storm is passing overhead.  The rain covers the cemetary and wakes up all the corpses, and they’re all hungry for one thing… FRESH BRAINS.  While all this is happening, Freddy’s friends are in the cemetary partying and waiting for him to get off of work so he can join in.  Soon, the figure out that a cemetary isn’t the best place to be when a zombie waking rain starts pouring down… go figure!  Soon, hundreds of zombies are tackling paramedics, busting into the funeral home and eating brains.

Sean: The zombies in this one are a little different than the old school traditional fare.  These guys can talk, use tools, run, and pretty much act like any regular living person, except that they hunger for brains an and they’re in various states of decay.

Raz: I would not want to run into the zombies in this flick.  Early on you find that the tactics normally used to destroy zombies in any other movie don’t work on these ones.   In fact the only way to destroy the zombies in this movie is to burn them up completely.  Unfortunately, this leads to more zombies because the gas used to create them is released when the body is burned.

Sean: What would happen if everything you knew about zombies was wrong?  I wouldn’t know what the hell to do.  These guys chopped up one of the corpses into pieces and they were still bouncing around, each piece seemed to have it’s own consciousness.  Now that is scary.  Plus they were all talking and remembering how to use normal tools and everything.  After one particular person turns to undead, they were calling out for their girlfriend, letting her know that they still loved her, and all they wanted to do was eat her brains.  Freaky.

Raz: The zombies in this movie are quite hilarious.  Especially the one that started the whole downward spiral.  He thawed out and now shambles around as fully decayed and getting into silly mischief.  When he is first discovered, he traps a girl in a tool closet.  Using his sharp intellect he uses a chain and a winch to pull the doors off the hinges.  The zombies are pretty smart.  In fact, the zombies in this movie are a little too smart.  They call for backup after the EMTs show up and comically tackle the new guys as they arrive on site.  They call for backup a few times with equally comedic effect.

Sean: I knew going into this that it was going to be comedic/horror.  I’ve seen it a few times, but it had been a while since the last time I watched it in it’s entirety.  I enjoyed it this time just like I did the first time i saw it, while it’s set in the 80’s and most of the characters fill certain 80’s teen stereotypes, it all still holds up today.  It’s truly a classic, and it’s still worth watching despite the recent zombie craze.  Plus, you get to see yet another totally nude zombie, which you don’t see every day!  The only reason this didn’t get a perfect score is because the ending was a little bit of a cop out… I have to give this one 4.5 pink tongued decaying headed zombies out of 5.

Raz: Over all I liked this movie and I found this movie to be pretty funny.  I was expecting this movie to be more of a run of the mill gore fest, but the silly zombie antics kept me laughing instead.   I give Return of the Living Dead 3.5 brain hungry zombies out of 5.

Return of the Living Dead is available on VHS and DVD from Amazon.com

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=347aL0NqWFU]

3 thoughts on “Return of the Living Dead”

  1. Awesome movie! Scared the crap out of me when I was younger. I met almost all the cast of the movie and they’re all cool. I “play” hit on Jewel Shepard and she just smiled, hugged me (squishing my face in her chest) and took a picture with he kissing me on the cheek. I haven’t been the same since

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