Greetings kids! Dash here, and have you ever seen that movie, ‘Night Of The Living Dead’? Oh, you’ve heard of it? Good! Well, did you know that the movie was based on a true case?…Okay, I’ll admit, that’s BS. However, there is another very interesting story. A lot of people, of course, know that George A. Romero was the director and co-writer of one of the most influential and important horror films of all time. So, who was the other writer? The man’s name was John Russo. After the two worked on ‘Night Of The Living Dead’, Romero and Russo split the rights. Romero was allowed to make his own amazing sequels, while Russo was able to keep any titles with the name “Living Dead”. This, resulted in Russo writing a novel called ‘Return Of The Living Dead’ which was the “true” sequel to the 1968 zombie classic. But then, as always, a few guys decided to make a movie that has the same title but has absolutely nothing to do with the book…and it was @#$%ing AWESOME!!!
Oh yeah, it’s time to Rock Out…With Your Brains Out!!!
‘The Return Of The Living Dead’ is a 1985 Zombie horror-comedy directed by Dan O’Bannon. As I’ve mentioned before, this film is only an adaptation of John A. Russo’s 1978 novel of the same name…in name only. Instead, this story follows a group of reckless teens looking to party, while one of their friends gets a job at a medical supply warehouse. Later, the new employee and his supervisor unknowingly release a toxin from a secret military drum that reanimates the dead; hilarity and dismemberment ensues as our motley crew of punks and rejects try to survive the ever-growing zombie apocalypse…Oh, did I forget to mention that these zombies are smart, fast AND can talk?
Now THIS is how you turn a Horror sub-genre on its head! This was one of the first movies to feature fast-moving Zombies a.k.a Runners(predating films like ’28 Days Later’ and the ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ remake), but what makes these flesh-eaters truly memorable is the fact that almost every Zombie has their own unique personalities, which was almost unheard of at the time. Also, you know that little stereotypical Zombie impersonation where they stumble about and yell, “BRAAAIINNSS!”? Well, guess where that came from?!?
Ha! Good luck sleeping tonight, kids! Anyways, ‘Return Of The Living Dead’ also has a great cast behind it. So many memorable faces like Clu Gulager, Thom Mathews, James Karen, Miguel A. Núñez Jr., Don Calfa, and the quintessential 80s Horror movie bombshell herself, Linnea Quigley! Why is she so memorable? Oh, she’s only known for starring in more cheesy B-grade Horror films than you can possibly imagine, like ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night’, ‘Creepozoids’, ‘Nightmare Sisters’, ‘Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama’, ‘Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers’, ‘Night Of The Demons’, and even her own Horror-themed exercise video, ‘Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout’…just to name a few. Still don’t recognize her? Well, I’ll give you two more reasons why Ms. Quigley was so awesome back in the 80s.
Congratulations, boys…you are now Men!
Now, as always, I find myself praising the amazing practical effects of this movie. From makeup effects to animatronics, you can tell that the crew was having one hell of a time making all the different looks for the Zombies; which makes sense since they’re truly the best part of this whole movie…aside from Linnea Quigley, of course, but the Zombies are a real treat to watch, too! Managing to pull off being scary and menacing, yet still be funny.
Some people tend to pick sides between ‘Shawn Of The Dead’ and ‘Zombieland’…Me? I tend to agree to disagree, and then continue watching ‘The Return Of The Living Dead’. As should you! I highly recommend this insane Zombie flick. It’s got some great scares, hilariously-memorable quotes, fun characters, awesome effects, an amazing soundtrack and probably one of the most jarring yet ironically-funny endings to a film ever. By the way, Linnea Quigley’s in this movie, too.
Just saying. Until next time, Gotta Dash!
Written by Shane Moose
Videos & Photos:
The Return Of The Living Dead(owned by Orion Pictures)
Bad Boys 2(owned by Columbia Pictures, Simpson/Bruckheimer, Constantin Film, The Bed Universe & EONION Filmworks)
Silent Night, Deadly Night(owned by TriStar Pictures & Slayride)
Firefly(owned by 20th Century Fox Television, 20th Television & Mutant Enemy Productions)