James Rolfe: It's Cinemassacre's "Monster Madness"! Zombies are probably the biggest sub-genre of horror films. And out of all the zombie movies I can think of, "Return of the Living Dead" is one of the best. The title is kinda misleading; most people assume it's a sequel to one of the George Romero movies like "Night of the Living Dead", but it's a completely unrelated movie. However, it does have some reference.
It begins with one of the greatest pre-title sequences ever in a horror film. This guy Freddy gets a job at a warehouse that sells medical supplies. He wants the job just because it feeds his fascination; he gets to see dead bodies and it's cool. So the boss realizes he likes this gruesome shit and tells him a scary story.
Frank: Did you see that movie "Night of the Living Dead"?
Freddy: Oh, yeah, yeah, that's the one where the corpses start eating the people, right?
James: So according to his story "Night of the Living Dead" was based on an actual case. Some kind of gas brought the corpses back to life and it has been covered up by the government ever since. It's a chilling story that's delivered real well and actually creeps me out.
So the boss takes him down to the basement to look at the bodies. He makes one simple blunder and next thing the gas escapes, bringing not only the original corpses back to life but everything in the whole warehouse. And that's just the opening scene… What makes these zombies different from the Romero series is that, first of all, they specifically eat brains. Next, they can talk.
James: And they're much more gruesome than the Romero zombies. Their bodies are all decaying, falling apart and mutilated. Some of them are even reduced to pure skeleton-form, and it's not just human zombies. Anything that once lived now comes back to life, including butterflies and the half of a dog.
But the major thing that separates these zombies from the Romero versions are the way they're killed. In the Romero films and usually the traditional sense of the zombies all you need to do is to destroy the brain, either by shooting them in the head or hitting them hard enough. But here every part of their body is independent, so if you sever a limb it will move about on its own.
Burt Wilson: I thought you said if we destroyed the brain it'd die!
Frank: It worked in the movie!
Burt: Well, it ain't working now, Frank!
Freddy: You mean the movie lied?!
James: This raises the stakes and makes it almost impossible to kill the zombies. There's a scene where they try to burn them, but that's the worst thing you can do. Because when the ashes are going into the air it comes down in rain which brings to life more zombies. And it doesn't just affect the recent dead; it even goes as far as resurrecting bodies from the cemetery. It all started with a simple mistake and everything just keeps getting worse.
(Four of the survivors blocks a door as zombies try desperately to get in)
James: You find yourself laughing because of how horrible this problem can get. The movie has everything; horror, comedy, grotesque bloodshed, naked dancing, memorable characters…
Suicide: What do you think this is all about? You think this is a fuckin' costume? This is a way of life.
James: And great special effects. There were many sequels but none of them match the original. If you're a zombie-fan at all, seeing this movie is mandatory.