When Dan O’Bannon and George Romero crafted Night of the Living Dead in the late 60’s, the producers and the duo themselves never obtained proper copyright. In totality, the franchise naming and overall premise wasn’t particularly owned by anyone, allowing both O’Bannon and Romero to create two deviating franchises based on the original movie. Due to creative differences, the two parted, and O’Bannon took a more humors approach to the zombie apocalypse, ushering in Return of the Living Dead and four sequels. And like many many-sequeled franchises, it is the earliest iteration that obtains the most respect. Return of the Living Dead is a largely comical trope through the zombie outbreak, drowning in comical overdone make-up effects and solidifying many zombie archetypes that stay in place even to today.
Reason to Watch
If you felt the zombie apocalypse story lacked a little comedy relief this way of jar Jar Binks or Animal House, return of the Living Dead is there to save the day.
Return of the Living Dead is violent, gruesome, and horrifying stupid. With that said, it’s pure unrelenting entertainment, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Most Memorable Quote(s)
- Burt Wilson: I thought you said if we destroyed the brain, it’d die!
Frank: It worked in the movie!
Burt Wilson: Well, it ain’t working now, Frank!
Freddy: You mean the movie lied?
- Suicide: How come you guys only come around when you need a ride someplace?
Spider: ‘Cause you’re one spooky motherfucker, man.
What You Need to Get Through This Movie
A love for zombie films is pretty necessary. this thing is straight zombie grade-A sweetness
- The film’s original intention was to be filmed in 3-D. Not quite Avatar level 3-D I’m sure, but also two decades before that movie became a hit
- Executives attempted to get George A. Romero involved with the project as producer, and had a hefty lump to pay. He never responded
- The director was shocked to see so many females interested in the film, saying he would have shown Thom Matthews naked if he knew that would occur
Even in death, you have a sense of humour
Nicknames make you zombie fodder
Justification for Rating
This unrelenting take on the zombie franchise works better as a comedy and as an entertaining film far more than any of George A. Romero’s latter-day zombie attempts where he essentially took the zombies in a direction of banding together and forming societies- except without the comedy and more of a “we’re serious, we’re building a farm” angle. it was awful.