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The Return of the Living Dead

4.5 out of 5 stars 544 customer reviews

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DVD
(Jan 01, 2004)
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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

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

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: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (544 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068IEV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,969 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Return of the Living Dead" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Great film with lots of scares, laughs and gore. In the Amazon Editorial Review it states that poor Freddy (Thom Mathews) unwittingly releases nerve gas from a secret U.S. military canister. If I remember, wasn't it Frank who hit the canister that let the gas out? Hmm.. Oh well, here is what will be on the Shout Factory's Blu-ray Edition:

DISC 1:
•NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
•NEW Audio Commentary With Gary Smart (Co-author Of The Complete History Of The Return Of The Living Dead) And Chris Griffiths
•NEW Audio Commentary With Actors Thom Mathews, John Philbin And Make-up Effects Artist Tony Gardner
•Audio Commentary With Director Dan O'Bannon And Production Designer William Stout
•Audio Commentary With The Cast And Crew Featuring Production Designer William Stout And Actors Don Calfa, Linnea Quigley, Brian Peck, Beverly Randolph, Allan Trautman
•The Decade Of Darkness – Featurette On '80s Horror Films (23 minutes)
•Theatrical Trailers
•TV Spots
•Still Gallery – Posters, Lobby Cards, Movie Stills And Behind-The-Scenes Photos
•Still Gallery – Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Special Make-up Effects Artist Kenny Myers' Personal Collection
•Zombie Subtitles For The Film
•In Their Own Words – The Zombies Speak

DISC 2:
•NEW The FX Of The Living Dead With Production Designer William Stout, FX Make-up Artists William Munns, Tony Gardner, Kenny Myers And Craig Caton-Largnet, Visual Effects Artists Bret Mixon And Gene Warren Jr. And Actor Brian Peck (Expanded Version) (30 minutes)
•NEW Party Time: The Music Of The Return Of The Living Dead With Music Consultants Budd Carr And Steve Pross And Soundtrack Artists Dinah Cancer (45 Grave), Chris D (The Flesh Eaters), Roky Erickson, Karl Moet (SSQ), Joe Wood (T.S.O.L.
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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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55 Comments 261 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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Format: DVD
"Return Of The Living Dead" is basically one giant homage to George Romero's infamous "Night Of The Living Dead," and a loving one at that. It pokes plenty of fun at the horror genre, is stocked with stupid characters, and has plentiful helpings of gore. During his first day on the job at Uneeda Medical Supplies, Freddy (Tom Mathews, you may remember him as Tommy Jarvis in "Friday the 13th, pt. VI: "Jason Lives") and his bumbling supervisor, Frank (James Karen), accidentally crack a tank containing a corpse that was previously a zombie (ala "Night Of The Living Dead"). Problem is, this tank was filled with toxic gasses, and not only does it make the two very ill, every dead creature in the building comes back to life (even some split puppies (?)). Up until this point, there is only one zombie to worry about, until the two decide to cremate it, which spreads more gasses into the air and re-awakens the dead all over town. Big mess. And caught in the middle of it all are a really obnoxious group of teenagers, coincidentally, Freddy's friends (one of whom stays nude pretty much for her entire screen-time, problem is, she's one of the first to go) and some very unlucky and downright stupid paramedics. From here on out, it follows standard zombie flick procedure, with an abundance of shocks and laughs thrown everywhere, all capped off with a surprising ending that will leave you scratching your head and wondering what you just saw. Nevertheless, "Return Of The Living Dead" is pure fun. It may go over the heads of horror snobs, but if you are looking for a good time this Halloween, it can't be beat (I'm sorry, but I couldn't stop laughing when they were trying to tackle the original zombie). The DVD edition supports the movie with audio-commentary by director Dan O'Bannon, a few technical featurettes and TV spots and trailers. Recommended for those who want to have a bloody good time.
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