Return of the Living Dead

After mentioning this 1980’s classic in a previous post, I realized I had never sat through the entire thing so I decided to Netflix it and chill with it. After all, how bad could it be? It’s got a respectable 7.2 on IMDB and a 90 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s got Dan O’Bannon (Alien, Dead and Buried) and Clu Gulager. Plus, one girl spends the entire movie completely naked, even after she turns into a zombie.

This is also the only Dead movie where the word Zombie is used and is the origin of the quest for BRAINS vis-a-vis zombie dietary requirements.

So why is it so stinking awful? Probably because it would be fucking hilarious if you were stoned. Unfortunately, I was straight up sober for the whole thing and it’s a mess to behold.

O’Bannon, who had never directed a feature before and would only go on to direct one more, adopts the high school drama club mugging for a static camera style, stitching together master shot after master shot filled with people running around looking for something to do, stepping on each other’s lines, and mumbling into their hands when they’re not overacting.

There are three music videos embedded in the movie for some reason. Bad 80s music videos for generic 80s synth pop tunes that almost sound a little bit like that one song you hear a lot on that one radio station.

It’s no wonder that Clu Gulager is rumored to have had multiple violent meltdowns on set. The man was a quality actor whose agent somehow got him stuck up to his neck in this quicksand of lunatic amateurishness.

But, again, for a Doug Loves Movies or an MST3K night with the right mixture of mind altering chemicals, this movie could be deadly funny. Seriously, it could kill.

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