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The Return of the Living Dead


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Product Details

  • Actors: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews, Beverly Randolph
  • Directors: Dan O'Bannon
  • Writers: Dan O'Bannon, John A. Russo, Rudy Ricci, Russell Streiner
  • Producers: Derek Gibson, Graham Henderson, John Daly
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: August 27, 2002
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (439 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068IEV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,915 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Return of the Living Dead" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary from Director/Writer Dan O'Bannon and Production Designer William Stout
  • "Designing the Dead" Featurette
  • Conceptual Art by  William Stout
  • TV Spots

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the cemetery'those brain-eating zombies are back and hungry for more tasty mortals. A fiendish mix of outrageous humor and heart-stopping terror, The Return of the Living Dead is a veritable smorgasbord of fun (LA Herald-Examiner) filled with skin-crawling jolts, eye-popping visuals and relentless surprise! On his first day on the job at an army surplus store, poor Freddy unwittingly releases nerve gas from a secret U.S. military canister, unleashing an unbelievable terror. The gas re-animates a corps of corpses, who arise from their graves with a ravenous hunger for human brains! And luckily for those carnivorous cadavers, there is a group of partying teens nearby, just waiting to be eaten!

Amazon.com

"Do ya wanna party?" challenges the soundtrack to this freaky and funny reworking of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Paced to the beat of a pounding rock score, this comic flesh feast delivers both laughs and outlandish gore. No longer lumbering, moaning creatures, these lithe, feral, and cunning undead claw their way out of the cemetery and into the skulls of a human smorgasbord. They even master the art of home delivery: "Send more cops," croaks a corpse into a patrol car radio. Director Dan O'Bannon even takes pains to explain their motivation between the tributes to the granddaddy of zombie horrors ("Well, it worked in the movie!" screams James Karen when a pickax to the skull hardly phases a lively cadaver). Not that it really matters amid the gore and gallows humor, but it does add a kick to the cynically sinister climax. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD is one of the best horror films ever.
James Robert Smith
I've heard of so many Living Dead movies that I can never really tell which is which or what is original but I do know that this one was pretty good.
Keith A. Jones
The special effects are great, the acting is good, the storyline is super campy fun.
Martin Simpson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

190 of 223 people found the following review helpful By Jon R. Garabieta on September 9, 2002
Format: DVD
Before we start. I want to affirm that I love this film. Great script, great performances, great soundtrack, great directing.
Also, regardless of the negative feedback I give this DVD, we are unfortunately obligated to buy it, if we ever want to see a special edition DVD.
Ok, here goes. Yeah it looks great. But it just felt wrong. I couldn't place the reason. I thought maybe it was a visual matter. But I quickly realized that what was bugging me was the soundtrack. It was inexplicably, utterly mangled.
Will someone tell me why? Why were the vocals for whole songs removed? I am sorely disappointed and angered by this. I am outraged by the George Lucas style of re-working your film for DVD, and abandoning the original theatrical cut. If you feel the need to improve your film, fine, provide an alternate cut, or additional scenes, or whatever, that's great. Give me the option on the menu to see the "improved version, or the regular cut. But don't alter a classic, and not even mention it and try to pass it off as the original.
There are so many examples of this butchering, that I can't name them all. I only watched it once last night, and am at work now, but a few definitely come to mind.
#1 The scene where Trash and Suicide and the gang are speeding towards the cemetery used to have the Damned song Dead Beat Dance as the background music. Well, not anymore! You get the inital maniacal laugh, and then nothing, a completely different song. Why?!
#2 The scene where the zombie says: "send more cops", with a thick new york accent. A classic scene right? We all loved it right? Well did you notice that they changed the voice? Did you notice that is was awful in comparison, and not nearly as funny? Was there a good reason for this sacrilege?
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Cronvich on April 16, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This cut of the film sucks: The soundtrack has been reedited and remixed. Its not the same as the version we grew up with. The songs have been edited. Most notably the creepy song "Burn the Flames" played when
James Karen cremates himself has been almost totally removed. This stinks.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Baker on July 2, 2002
Format: DVD
After over a decade of being out of print (do to legal wrangling in regards to the film's punk rock soundtrack that is prominently featured throughout the film) the classic 1980s zombie film that turned heads with it's dark humor, witty script, and original zombie design is now available on DVD!
Freddy is a typical early 1980s punk rock fan who, on his first day at work at UNEEDA Medical Supply, learns that the movie "Night of the Living Dead" was based on an actual event involving zombies and that UNEEDA one day came into possession of one of the zombies which is now being held in a cylinder in the basement. A non-believing Freddy is shown the container just as it explodes, filling the supply company's building with a toxic green gas. The gas causes the sole human body in the body to come to life (as well as freeing the zombie from it's cylinder prison) and after failing to destroy the zombie the tradition way (cutting of it's head) they take it to the local crematorium to be cremated. Unfortunately this makes things MUCH, MUCH worse as the smoke laced with the toxic chemical mixes with storm clouds that rain down on the city at night and resurrecting the bodies buried inside the town's cemetary where ironically Freddy's fellow punk-friends are having a little party.
The kicker for Return of the Living Dead that makes it a classic film and makes it one of the most well loved zombie movies is the fact that the film's zombies aren't your typical movie zombie. They are smart (luring police to the crematorium after killing off several cops who come to investigate all of the strange activity going on), are fast and agressive instead of slow and dumb and the zombies have the most hilarious banter involving their thirst for brains that can have even the most squeemish movie viewer laughing.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Justin Steen on July 8, 2002
Format: DVD
"How was your day,dear?" "Usual,crap." I love that line. This is my absolute favorite movie of all time and I am extatic to hear that is finally coming out on DVD. The reason why I love it so much...couldn't tell ya. It's just one of those movies that keep you forever. I loved it. It's a unique zombie flick. With the portrayal of younger adolescents, I think it gives the movie a certain edge that no other zombie, or any other horror film for that matter, has ever had. Past, present and I will boldy say future. With combinations of laughs, scares, and gore, it surpasses every horror movie ever made. The character of Suicide and Trash are my two favorites. Unfortuanately for me, they are the first two to be devoured by brain starved zombies. But I always looked at it this way, Trash got what she wanted..."A bunch of old men to surround me. And start bighting, and eating me alive." I see. Trust me, if you are an avid horror fanatic like myself and love zombie films, check this one out! And if you are in to Punk music at all, the soundtrack for the movie rocks. With bands like The Cramps, The Damned, The Flesheaters, and TSOL, you'll be in pure heaven...Or hell. Whichever you prefer! I give this movie 2 THUMBS UP...and one half eaten brain!!!
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