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OnTV Today's Date:

Return of the Living Dead
Release Date: August 27, 2002
Run Time: 91 mins
Ten-second Rundown: The scourge of the living dead return. (Duh.)


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

    Choice Scene: Half of a dead lady shares the pain of being dead.

    Tech Specs: Widescreen letterbox enhanced for 16:9 TVs, English Dolby Digital, English, Spanish mono tracks, English, French and Spanish Subtitles.

    Life holds few treasures like that of a well-done zombie picture. Reanimated corpses make for wholesale slaughter as the living attempt to regain their dominance over the topside turf. This struggle drives Dan O'Bannon's quasi-sequel to George Romero's untouchable classic Night of the Living Dead with a wink and nod.

    As O'Bannon explains in the supplemental material, he knew he couldn't compete with Romero's brilliant apocalyptic vision and so instead of taking the man on, he turned the picture on its ear. Return of the Living Dead boasts the gross outs and gore that Romero set the pace for, but unlike Night of the Living Dead, Return features almost as many "nyuk, nyuks" as "yucks."

    The plot revolves around a medical supply house (not "an army surplus store" as described on the back of the DVD case) and some sealed drums left over after the "real-life" events on which Romero based his '68 film. Eventually the dead rise to terrorize a group of punks straight out of Valley Girl.

    Featuring some of the best monster design this side of the Gillman, and the best gore done without the genius of Tom Savini, Return of the Living Dead should really interest fans of Troma pictures and Peter Jackson's early work. In fact, this disk has some great early artwork by William Stout that just reeks of classic EC.

    The transfer on this classic glistens with blood and sinew and the sound is crisp enough to really hear the skulls crunch and the brains squish. If that doesn't appeal to you neither will this picture, but frankly if you were even half way interested in a picture with a title like this, you have got to get this one.

    For those of you who are already a fan of the punker-on-zombie mayhem, the extras are pretty neat with William Stout pointing out a moment in which the hot glue on a set piece gives way and describing the intricacies of Linnea Quigley's Barbie doll cod piece.

    Frankly, this picture is a must-have priced as an impulse buy. Get it.

    Get Return of the Living Dead at Amazon

    Suggested Double Feature film: Dead Alive

  • Jordan Rosa


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