Return Of The Living Dead

  • 1985
  • 1 HR 31 MIN
  • R

Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has been a sporadic genre talent at best, his screenplays ranging from the interesting (ALIEN; BLUE THUNDER) to the awful (DEAD AND BURIED). RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, his directorial debut, is a horror parody of George Romero's "Living Dead" trilogy based on a story by John Russo, who coauthored the script to Romero's original...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Rating:

Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has been a sporadic genre talent at best, his screenplays ranging from the interesting (ALIEN; BLUE THUNDER) to the awful (DEAD AND BURIED). RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, his directorial debut, is a horror parody of George Romero's "Living Dead" trilogy based on a

story by John Russo, who coauthored the script to Romero's original film and shares story rights. Set mostly in a medical supply house owned by Burt (Clu Gulager) and run by Frank (James Karen), the movie details the events of a night in which an experimental nerve gas pioneered by the military

leaks and brings the dead back to life. Frank explains to a young employee, Freddy (Thom Mathews), that a similar incident occurred several years ago and that a movie was made about it (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD), only the movie didn't tell the whole truth--in the film, the dead could be stopped by

a blow to the head; in real life, nothing stopped them. The whole thing is played for laughs, with a pseudohip sense of humor satirizing everything from suburban punks to the military, while delivering a few legitimate chills. Not only does RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD contain shades of the "Living

Dead" trilogy, but the premise of the toxic gas developed by the military and the crisis' nuclear solution is stolen directly from Romero's film THE CRAZIES. RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD gets off to a promising start and contains some macabre comedy, but it's basically a one-joke film that hinges on

dozens of high-tech special effects. While the effects are superior (the half-woman corpse that moves and talks while on the morgue table falls into the amazing-but-disgusting category), they cannot, and do not, carry the entire film. This strange comedy did quite well at the box office; since it

hit screens just before Romero's third "Living Dead" film, DAY OF THE DEAD, it stole much of his thunder.

Best Movies of 2019 to Stream Right Now

We're halfway through the year; time to catch up!

The 100 Best Shows

TV Guide ranks Peak TV's finest offerings

My News

Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorite shows - Start Now