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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 (424 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068IEV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,454 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

180 of 212 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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25 of 26 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 47 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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46 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Michael R Gates VINE VOICE on October 28, 2002
Format: DVD
Re-animated corpses, swearing, blood & gore, full-frontal female nudity, iconoclastic jabs at American culture, and lots of gallows humor--what more could a horror fan ask for?
Any genre fan who has a morbid sense of humor is sure to enjoy 1985's THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. In the same vein as other tongue-in-cheek horror shtick such as the Chiodo Brothers' KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE and Sam Raimi's ARMY OF DARKNESS, this one's specifically a spoof of George Romero's classic and highly revered zombie film NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Director/Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, probably best known for having penned the original ALIEN movie, does a fantastic job of lovingly poking fun at the Horror and SF genres while at the same time satirizing everything from the U.S. Military to Punk Rock. This movie is not only funny, it's got plenty o' "brains"!
And you can't beat the financial value of the DVD edition. Not only does it cost less than a lot of other full-length, widescreen DVD thrillers--including some that are hardly worth the plastic and aluminum it took to make 'em--but it also includes these cool extras: an optional audio commentary by O'Bannon and production designer William Stout; both the G-rated and R-rated theatrical trailers; over 5-minutes of various TV spots; some storyboard-like production stills; and a really cool "Designing the Dead" featurette, in which O'Bannon and Stout discuss the evolution of the final look and feel of the movie (lots of great shots of Stout's EC-Comics-like designs for the zombies offered in this one).
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Anyone know if this edition of "Return..."?
The problem with these films is that many times the producers did not secure the music rights for the DVD edition (because in the 80's, nobody knew DVDs were coming, right?). So it is all a contractual matter and most "cheaper" films with more restrictive contracts suffer from this (why... Read More
Sep 18, 2007 by Paulo Leite |  See all 5 posts
Audio track
the oringal audio track is available on the uk blu ray version. 2012 you will have to have a all region blu ray player to watch it though.
Oct 25, 2012 by Michael Dobey |  See all 2 posts
The Burning DVD
I'm wondering the same thing.
Anybody?
Jul 27, 2007 by M. |  See all 2 posts
Soundtrack
I BELIEVE neither of the R1 DVDs contain the original soundtrack, from what I've seen posted here, but hopefully someone can give you a more concrete answer than that. I'd like to buy the collector's edition, but not if it's been "butchered" 'Tour Of Duty' style! :(
Aug 9, 2009 by Banjo |  See all 12 posts
The new version is sad, so sad. Be the first to reply
oringinal soundtrack is available in uk version. Be the first to reply
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