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Return of the Living Dead

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Special Guest Comedienne Ronny Pascale of the SH*T Show: The PoopCast stops by to give us insight on how a zombie horde can effect the amount of doo-doo in your undies. Be sure to check out Ronny (on Twitter https://twitter.com/ronnypascale) and the SH*T Show (on Soundcloud  https://soundcloud.com/shttshow) for a ton of laughs!

Hey remember that time that Louisville, Kentucky was overrun by party zombies, nuked and then became even more overrun by zombies? Yeah us neither but this is a true story! At least the film says it is. True or false, this film shows that the living dead in the 80s can be just as much fun as your average group of teens who like sitting around a cemetery. Party! 

Return of the Living Dead  is a rare and special kind of film. While being a straight up zombie movie, it breaks through the cliche's and genre staples to have a wild and fun time. The comedy is top notch and the almost Zucker Bros. style of introspection on the genre is appreciated. Combine those eliminates with dripping 80s motifs, a killer soundtrack, amazing practical effects and stellar performances by the cast and this is a can't miss film.

James Karan steals the show as the bumbling, but likable Frank. His over-acting is wondrously entertaining and should have birthed a career of this character for him. Frank is just one half of a duo (alongside Thom Matthew's Freddy) that could have spawned one of the most beautiful onscreen friendships, but sadly they were turned into zombies. Then there's Clu Gulager (say it with me) and Don Calfa's Burt and Ernie who try to steal the show as well. There's a lovable gang of punks showcased by the naked for 90% of the film Linnea Quigley (see Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers) who draws up one of the most memorable scenes of on screen nudity for the entire decade.

It's silly, goopy, sexy, and chock full of riffable moments. Return of the Living Dead is a hallmark film in any genre, but takes the cake in the over-saturated genre of the zombie. Whether you like zombies or not, it is a film that you will enjoy.

Individual Ratings:

Over the top action:3-star
Cheesy effects:4-star
Horrendous acting:4-star
Laugh-out-loud-ability:4-star
Ridiculous stunts:2-star
Gratuitous nudity:4-star
Memorable one-liners:4-star
Riffability:4-star

Overall Ratings:

Good Movie Quality: 5-star
Bad Movie Quality:8-star

About Return of the Living Dead (1985) - Movie Information

Sam's Boring Bullshit

They weren’t zombies, we made them that. In the original Night of the Living Dead, they were just that, the living dead, flesh eating ghouls. Zombies were individuals who were being controlled by voodoo witch doctors. In the 1968 Romero/Russo classic they were just dead people that came out of the ground and tried to eat you. By fan mandate Romero, at the time of making Day of the Dead, relented that he guessed they were zombies, because that was the undeniable word on the street.

After the huge success of the original film, Romero and Russo would come to an agreement where they could separately and individually continue the series while keeping both lanes independent, yet cannon. Romero’s installments would use “the dead” as a suffix and Russo’s would use “living dead”.

Russo wrote Return of the Living Dead as a novel which he adapted into a screenplay which was to be directed by rising star Tobe Hooper. Hooper would leave the project to direct the film Lifeforce, which nearly ended his career while simultaneously giving boners that lasted 23 years. Directorial duties were then passed to Dan O’Bannon.

O’Bannon would pull talent from all the big houses including Lucas and Henson. What resulted is real sensational film which is beloved by everyone who has seen it, made $14 million against a $4 million budget, has a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and is just somehow not a big deal, then or now. This resulted in the “living dead” branch of the series becoming something of a headless chicken. Russo and O’bannon would abandon the series but somehow the four sequels would play by the haywire rules set by this film. What results is a very underrated, wild and fun series.

It being held together by shoestrings may be it’s greatest strength. Russo would later add an unrelated and possible third “island” to the franchise/series with Children of Living Dead, it was not well received.

The film stars Clu Gulager, James Karen and Don Calfa. Clu was an often side kick and kicked said sides with some of the best including John Wayne and Lee Marvin. Karen is most notable for Poltergeist and we all remember Don Calfa as the hitman from Weekend at Bernie’s. Stinker Madness favorite Linea Quigley will appear and if that isn’t enough eye candy Jewel Shepard also shows up. Jewel keeps her shirt on while Linea is fully nude for most of the movie.

 

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Monday, 20 November 2017

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