Review: The Return Of The Living Dead


The 80's truly held the reign for cult horror classics. Rememberable films were cropping up in all horror genres, and along with a handful of other classic zombie films, 'The Return Of The Living Dead' entered the stage.

Unlike many of its predecessors ROTLD took a comedic approach to an apocalyptic scenario and at every chance it could, threw funny moments in to the film. This is what made ROTLD what is was and shot it to an iconic status as one of the best zombie films of the time.

The plot is simple and adds for a thoroughly enjoyable 90 minute runtime! At a medical supply warehouse, Frank the foreman shows one of the new boys, Freddy, around. Trying to show off Frank shows him military drums that are stored in the basement, the drums contain the remains of an army experiment gone horribly wrong. Frozen in time, rotting cadavers. Frank accidently manages to unleash the toxic gas from one of the containers, knocking both him and Freddy out. Upon gaining consciousness, Freddy and Frank are not feeling themselves. They go back upstairs where they call upon their boss Burt to come and help. By now it's evident that the gas has managed to reanimate one of the bodies that the warehouse is keeping in the chiller, Burt wants to hide the evidence and so they go about dispatching the zombie.

Meanwhile Freddy's punk friends are all waiting outside for him to finish work, they decide to hold up in the local graveyard, where they find some interesting ways to waste their time!

Realising that conventional methods of death don't seem to be working, Freddy and Frank take the dismembered corpse to Burnie the mortician, where they decide that burning the body parts will be the only way. The fumes billow out of the chimney and rain down on the same graveyard that the punks are holding up. How were they to know to know it would reanimate all of the resting corpses at the graveyard?......well we all know how this is going to pan out so ill leave the plot there, but rest assured the pace never stops and for once we are treated to a gem where there is little or no padding or uninteresting content!

Gore is plentiful and should please all the bloodthirsty watchers out there, the zombies themselves look gruesome and the reanimated corpse that is woken up from his oil drum container with his chants for 'brains' is a definite stand out.

Personally a highlight for me of all 80's true classics is the music, whether it's the speedy synthesizer setting the pace of the action, or the background songs playing, it's something that either makes a film rememberable or forgettable and ROTLD has it all. As soon as the credits roll we are greeted with a typical 80's score and its brilliant!!

Overall ROTLD is up there with the best, if you want an 80's horror in general then you need to see this, this is a perfect example of a nostalgic classic. Whether it's the zombie genre that has brought you here or just horror itself don't hesitate to give ROTLD a go, you will not regret it! I didn't!

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