Return of the Living Dead is a total masterpiece in the horror genre. It’s been a cult classic since its release in ’85, and it’s not hard to see why. This flick’s got everything you want in a zombie apocalypse movie and more.
In the capable hands of Dan O’Bannon, co-writer of the iconic Alien, Return of the Living Dead emerges as a film that maintains its seriousness yet infuses a delightful sense of amusement into the zombie genre. With its blend of practical effects and humor, this is a cinematic gem that you can savor even with your beloved grandma. As the movie kicks off, it pays homage to the classic Night of the Living Dead, but fear not, it possesses its own distinctive spin on the zombie narrative—a truly refreshing breeze in the genre.
Clu Gulager of Return of the Living Dead.
One of the most fascinating aspects of this film is how it forges its own unique set of rules within the zombie realm. These undead creatures are not merely running amok; they exhibit a bizarre level of agility, even engaging in some eerie acrobatics. And brace yourself – they can communicate! The unforgettable “Send more paramedics” scene has etched itself into the annals of cinematic history.
Return of the Living Dead doesn’t stop at its inventive zombie lore; it serves up a captivating array of characters. With a mix of earnest performances and razor-sharp dialogue, it keeps you thoroughly entertained. The standout portrayals undoubtedly belong to Burt and Ernie, portrayed by Clu Galager and Don Calfa, respectively. These two gentlemen conjure up pure cinematic magic on screen.
As for the pacing, it’s nothing short of masterful. The movie’s perfectly orchestrated 91 minutes waste not a single second. You’ll find yourself in stitches from laughter throughout the entire ride.
And let’s not forget about the soundtrack to Return of the Living Dead, serving as the perfect accompaniment to the movie’s horror/comedy vibe. The ten campy punk rock tracks may not be essential, but they certainly entertain. The Cramps steal the disc with the opening track, the rockabilly boogie “Surfin’ Dead.” Roky Erickson contributes the hilariously ghoulish “Burn the Flames,” a jangly dirge flavored with gothic keyboards and sound effects. Other notable tracks include T.S.O.L.’s angst anthem “Nothing for You,” and SSQ’s twisted ode to necromancy, “Tonight (We’ll Make Love Until We Die).”
To the casual observer, the soundtrack to Return of the Living Dead serves as a good introduction to the gothic punk scene that flourished in the mid-’80s underground. However, the music is rooted in the time it was created, and may be disappointing to listeners weaned on the punk explosion led by Green Day in the 1990s.