The Return of the Living Dead


Action / Comedy / Horror / Sci-Fi

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 91% · 46 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 79% · 50K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.3/10 10 69806 69.8K


Top cast

Linnea Quigley as Trash
John Philbin as Chuck
James Karen as Frank
Clu Gulager as Burt
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 2160p.BLU.x265
837.23 MB
English 2.0
Subtitles us  
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
Seeds 11
1.69 GB
English 2.0
Subtitles us  
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
Seeds 21
4.07 GB
English 5.1
Subtitles us  
24 fps
1 hr 30 min
Seeds 16

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by preppy-3 8 / 10

Should be a cult classic

Back in 1985 this movie was deemed "unreleasable" by its studio. They (purportedly) re cut it and quietly opened it. To their surprise it was a sizable hit leading to two sequels. I saw it twice when it came out--this movie REALLY delivers the goods to horror fans.

It starts off by saying all the events in this movie are true (???). It focuses on 2 warehouse workers played by Thom Mathews and James Karen. It turns out that the movie "Night of the Living Dead" was based on fact and the dead bodies are stored in the basement in air tight canisters with some gas keeping them asleep. One of the canisters breaks open, the dead guy comes to life and all hell breaks loose. Also, the gas leaks into a graveyard next door and all the dead people come to life...hungry for brains! And how about that group of punk kids hanging out in the graveyard--including Linnea Quigley who spends 99.9% of her screen time nude? Also, unlike "Night of..." these zombies move FAST and bullets don't hurt them...

This movie is strange. It pays homage to old zombie horror flicks and goes of on its own direction. The annoying, constantly swearing bunch of punk kids are only there to be victims--and they inexplicably have an innocent, sweet girl with them--Tina played by Beverly Randolph. The first half is very funny--expertly mixing laughs with some truly scary, gory moments. The laughs disappear completely for the second half. Then on in its a gore show and VERY disturbing. It's moves extremely quick, there are tons of people killed, the number of zombies is incredible, the special effects are great and the blood goes flying. But the change from humor to horror is jarring and some of the stuff at the end is VERY disturbing (Karens and Mathews' slow deaths are very upsetting and painful to watch and hear).

This movie is also helped by good acting. The punk kids are by the numbers (except for Randolph who is kind of fun), but Mathews is good and Karen and Gulager are hilarious in their respective roles. They all play it reasonably straight and it helps.

Gory, scary, funny--a definite must-see for horror fans. This film deserves more recognition than it's gotten.

Best line: "I think things are getting a little out of hand."

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 8 / 10

Immensely enjoyable and by far the best in the series

This is saying a lot too, because to me this is the only film of the five Return of the Living Dead films to be above good standard. The sequels varied in quality, with 2 and 3 being acceptable enough though with their problems and 4 (Necropolis) and 5 (Rave to the Grave) being terrible, the latter being marginally worse and being one of the worst sequels ever made. The original however is an immensely enjoyable film, with its very few flaws barely noticeable amidst the huge amount of good.

It is definitely the best-looking film in the series, it is stylishly shot and lit with a wonderful ominous atmosphere, complete with atmospheric sets, above average effects and some great make-up on the zombies. There is a killer 80s soundtrack that still sounds good and haunting rather than cheesy, and instead of the outdated quality it could have had the soundtrack makes one nostalgic for the 80s. As well as a hilarious and clever script that's never forced, doesn't get bogged down in too many explanations or too much exposition, and that is very quotable (which I don't think any of the sequels achieved and it was something that 4 and 5 could only dream of doing so), and a story that seemed tired in concept but felt very fresh in execution with so many funny moments and an equal number of highly disturbing and scary ones.

Return of the Living Dead is directed with adroit class and a clear fondness for the genre by Dan O' Bannon, and while some of the punk teens are annoyingly and one-dimensionally written and acted with not much spark (the sole problems with the film, and they are not that major), the leads are written very likeably and Clu Gulager, James Karen, Thom Mathews and Beverly Randolph are charming and lots of fun (all of them at least knowing what sort of film they're in), Gulager and Karen are particularly good. Don Calfa is also suitably shady. The film also cleverly and wisely makes the zombies the stars and uses them brilliantly, furthermore these zombies actually are very menacing, a real threat, do a lot more than just shuffle and plod around and are wonderfully tongue-in-cheek, exuding real personality. The twist is deliciously ironic, adding to the freshness when it easily could have been tired or anti-climactic.

All in all, immensely enjoyable and the best of the series by some margin, being the only one to be completely satisfying. 8/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by MartinHafer 8 / 10

If you insist on watching a DEAD movie, then make it this one

No pun intended, but the brain-eating zombie genre has been beaten to death. After the seminal film NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD appeared in 1968, there was a long hiatus until remakes (of sorts) and sequels began appearing in the 1980s and beyond. The problem is, just how many cannibal zombie movies do we need? If you ask some die-hard and rabid fans, they'll insist you can never have enough, though a more discriminating viewer might agree that the genre has been gasping for air for some time. Apart from SHAUN OF THE DEAD, the films are pretty much the same old same old and that is why I feel it's a public service to tell you that you really only need to see one of them and repeated viewing of the genre will probably result in massive death in brain cells. While this could be a positive thing in case of a zombie attack (after all, who wants an atrophied brain--even zombies have their standards), I would hope people would have a better use for their time than just watching one brain-eating movie after another. So, if you want to try just one zombie film, try watching THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. That's because like SHAUN OF THE DEAD, it is indeed a comedy (something this deadly serious genre needs) but unlike SHAUN, it has a cheesiness and cheapness about it that make it fun. The bottom line is that zombie films should NEVER have big budgets--it's everything that the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was not! Cheap, silly fun--see THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and then try turning off the TV and reading a book if the urge to watch more zombie films arises.

Read more IMDb reviews


Be the first to leave a comment