House of Horrors Presents...

Why do I like this film so much? Let me see. Is it the cool soundtrack? Well maybe....no I don't think so. Is it seeing Linnea Quigley naked? Well that was very nice. No, it's something else, but I am not sure. Why is my brain itching? Got it....zombies.

There is nothing better than seeing zombies with Mohawks and chains. At the time this film came out in 1985, I was really into the punk scene. I was going to all the shows like  Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Descendent, etc. My head was shaved and I was that rebellious teenager who loved to slam dance and stage drive. College quickly cured me of that behavior the following year, but I still love the music today. So having some kind of weird bond with this band of misfits made this movie a more personal experience for me.

Now when I look at the zombies in Return I am really torn, because these are the type of walking corpses I usually don't like...you know the ones that can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. But the make up was so cool. These zombies really kicked ass.  I was finally able to get a copy of this out-of-print classic on laserdisc and have just finished re-watching it before sitting down at the computer. I am truly amazed at how well this film has stood up against the test of time. Well maybe it's more that there really hasn't been too many good zombie movies in the last decade, but let see if George Romero can change that.

If you read my Evil Dead 2 page, you know how I feel about the sequel to this zombie classic. The third installment wasn't too bad and I would definitely recommend it if you love zombies like I love zombies. The whole idea for Part III supposedly plays on Romero's original plot for Day of the Dead. The government is trying to control zombies and use them in combat. Not a bad idea.

As always please e-mail me if you have anything you can add to this page, or if you have any comments, criticisms or suggestion.

 

Return of the Living Dead

Freddy (Thom Mathews) is just starting his first day of work at UNEEDA Medical Supply, but it also may be his last. When he asks his uncle Frank, " what's the weirdest thing he ever saw?", his uncle tell him that movie Night of the Living Dead  was based on a true story. Frank goes on say that the army accidentally shipped the reanimated corpses back to their warehouse where they now  lie dominate in steel cylinders. Seeing that Freddy is still a little skeptical, Uncle Frank takes him down to the cellar to show him the cylinders and they  inadvertently release trioxin 245 into the air. You may be asking yourself what is trioxin 245? Well, its a chemical that the Darrell Chemical Company developed for the army to spray on marijuana and of course to............bring the dead back to life.

The putrid green vapor seeps up into this warehouse of oddities bringing back to life anything that was once alive ( i.e. split dogs, butterflies, etc) and of course, the lone medical school cadavers hanging in the freezer. As they try to kill the brain, they realize the movie was a LIE.   Instead they decide to chop the corpse into little pieces and take it next door to the crematorium. But burning the corpse, only releases trioxin 245 into the air where a passing shower brings it raining down onto a cemetery.

Too bad for Freddy's friends who were waiting for him in the cemetery. The dead are back and looking for live BRAINS. A lot of great zombie action here, especially when the zombies attack the cops and give a call in "to send more cops". The end comes when the army steps in, but as you can see they screwed up again.

Generation X versus Generation Dead. This 1985 instant classic help to breath back some life into a the dominant zombie franchise. Followed by 2 lesser sequel, although I found "Part 3" to be quite entertaining.

   


  • Original Return   was to be directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by George Romero, but Richard Rubinstein of Laurel Entertainment asked Romero to not get involved, because he didn't want people to think this film was part of Romero's "Living Dead" series. Rubinstein even got an injunction trying to stop them from using "Living Dead" in the title. But the MPAA arbitrators ruled in favor of the movies producers.

  • Directed by Dan O'Bannon who did work on Alien, Star Wars, Lifeforce, Total Recall and more.

  • John Russo who helped write the original Night of the Living Dead also helped write this film.

  • Return was shot on a $4 million budget.

  • Thom Mathews played Tommy Jarvis is Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives.

  • The inspiration for the zombies came from many sources, the mummies of Mexico, the Tarman of Wales, civil war vets, etc.


Followed up by two lesser sequels. Part III wasn't bad and was based on ideas from George Romero's original treatment for Day of the Dead.

 Frightful Facts

Checkout Rotten Cotten cool zombie t-shirt that features the "Tarman", as well as, many other classic zombies.

Buy Return of the Living Dead on DVD from Amazon.com

Buy Return of the Living Dead 2 on DVD from Amazon.com

Buy Return of the Living Dead 3 on DVD from Amazon.com

Buy the soundtrack at Amazon.com

Checkout the new House of Horrors t-shirt for sale now 

 


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