Sunday, June 17, 2007

Return of the Living Dead

Title: Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Dir: Dan O'Bannon
Rating: ***** out of 5 stars

That's right - five stars! Why? Because I love this fuckin movie. It's always a good feeling when I love a movie instantly, rather than it grow on me over days/week/months/etc. I haven't felt this strongly about a horror film since I saw Re-Animator. Both that and Return are definitely among my favorite horror films ever (though technically this is more of a comedy...sue me).

Firstly, I have to say this: Return of the Living Dead has absolutely NOTHING to do with George Romero's zombie films. It's not a sequel nor a remake nor even a parody, really. I'm really sick of people misunderstanding that. Now that I got that off my chest....

Return begins with two bumbling idiots accidently releasing a mysterious toxin into the air at a medical supply company. They soon realize the gas is bringing dead creatures back to life. As the living dead begin to ransack the town in search of brains to eat, our nimwitted heroes are held up inside a house/crematorium along with some stereotypical 80's punks.

This movie has so many classic scenes and quotable lines. And while the acting may seem cheesy, most of the players are actually really good. Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, and Thom Matthews all give memorable performances. There isn't really any gore in this one, so if you dig horror only for the blood and guts, you're sniffing up the wrong tree here. But if you like zombies, and laughing, then you can't live without Return of the Living Dead. 100% cult classic.


Wes Guerrettaz said...

I can't believe you haven't seen this before. It's definitely a classic in my book. I actually grew up with this movie and watched it several times as a kid... a really messed up kid. It's the first time I ever saw full-frontal female nudity too. You can never forget an experience like that.