HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ritual, The
Les Girls
Death of Stalin, The
Mission, The
Wild Life, The
Eve of Destruction
Mad Death, The
Lost in Vagueness
Sleeping Beauty
Allure
In Search of Dracula
Fantastic Woman, A
Emmanuelle II
Far from Vietnam
Inherit the Wind
Post, The
King Frat
Commuter, The
Mister Buddwing
Kiki's Delivery Service
Z-O-M-B-I-E-S
Mansfield 66/67
Old Enough
Bleeding Steel
Double Hour, The
My Generation
Geostorm
Pendulum
Certain Magical Index: The Movie - The Miracle of Endymion, A
That Good Night
   
 
Newest Articles
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
   
 
  Return of the Living Dead, The Death Is Not The EndBuy this film here.
Year: 1985
Director: Dan O'Bannon
Stars: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews, Beverly Hartley, Linnea Quigley, John Philbin, Jewel Shepard, Miguel A. Núñez Jr, Brian Peck, Mark Venturini
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Rating:  8 (from 5 votes)
Review: When a couple of medical centre attendants go down to the basement to check out some mysterious metal drums, they accidentally break one open causing the corpse inside to disintegrate into a noxious gas. And this gas has the power to reanimate the dead...

Dan O'Bannon took over directing duties from Tobe Hooper for this reworking of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead. O'Bannon wrote the script based on an original story by John Russo, Russ Streiner and Rudolph J. Ricci, who had all worked on Romero's film. What they came up with was a jokey variation on the traditional zombie movie.

Mind you, back in the eighties, just about every horror movie coming out of Hollywood was a jokey one - the horror comedy ruled the shelves of the video store. O'Bannon doesn't really pepper the film with witty gags, he lets the comedy arise from the situation and the offbeat characters, so this is more of a shocker with a dash of humour added.

The characters consist of people who work with the dead, such as Ernie the mortician (Don Calfa), and a group of young oddballs who are out looking for a good time, with stereotypical Hollywood punks (i.e. the kind who have spent too much time in the makeup department) inexplicably mixing with out-of-place square kids ("Oh f...fudge!"). When they're not all screaming - and this cast must hold the record for the most screaming - they have matter-of-fact conversations about how to get out of their sticky situation.

The undead themselves are satisfyingly rendered, different from the traditional zombie by being articulate ("More Brains!") and unkillable, not even by a shot to the head. Although RofLD tries for an innovative spin on the genre, you're always one step ahead of the story (you just know that cremating the first corpse is a bad idea), and the apocalyptic ending is an anti-climax, looking more like they ran out of good ideas.

On the other hand, it's mainly enjoyably predictable viewing, and it made a kind of star of Linnea Quigley, so maybe it's the eighties horror fans' equivalent of the comfy slippers and warm mug of cocoa. Followed by four sequels; Part II is poor, but Part III is worth checking out. Soundtrack includes records by the Damned and the Cramps.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4898 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Dan O'Bannon  (1946 - 2009)

American writer of pulpy and innovative sci-fi and horror, whose credits include Dark Star (which he also acted in), Alien, Dead and Buried, Heavy Metal, Blue Thunder, Lifeforce, Total Recall and Screamers. His only films as director are cult favourite Return of the Living Dead and obscure H.P. Lovecraft adaptation The Resurrected.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Mark Scampion
   

 

Last Updated: