The Halloween Hit List: The Return of the Living Dead (1985)


The Return of the Living Dead (1985)


Rated: R

91 minutes

Written & Directed by: Dan O’Bannon

Do you like The Night of the Living Dead?  Of course you do, you’re a horror fan.

Do you like The Night of the Living Dead, but with a heavy dose of humor?

If you answered “yes” to the second question, then you will love The Return of the Living Dead.

And instead of getting biting social commentary on our consumerist culture, we  get a zombie asking his human girlfriend if she will let him eat her brains.  Because you know, that’s what friends are for!  For good times and bad times, I’ll be eating your brains forever more!  Sorry, got a little carried away there.

Right away we notice the difference in tone. Two bumbling employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a gas that causes the dead to re-animate.  And all they want is food, or human brains.  But to each their own.  There is also a gang of ridiculous 1980’s flair that decide to party in the graveyard and end up becoming fast food for the zombies as they return to life.  As opposed to realistic characters and scenarios, we get over-the-top characters and scenarios that become WAY ridiculous.

Dead Alive, while probably one of my favorite zombie movies, was left off this list because I thought The Return of the Living Dead needed to get some love.  Peter Jackson is widely loved by everyone.  Plus, there is just something about a group of 80’s misfits partying in a graveyard that screams Halloween fun to me.

You definitely don’t need “Braaiiinss!” to enjoy this film or to understand how it made this list.