THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD
THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD-United States-1985
Directed by Dan O’Bannon
Screenplay by Dan O’Bannon
Story by Rudy Ricci and Russell Streiner
Book by John Russo
“The Return of the Living Dead” is rock ‘n’ roll, zombies, comedy, horror and action melted down into one hell of a movie. It’s “Abbot and Costello Meet the Night of the Living Dead” and “Assault on Precinct 13” if it featured zombies and were directed by the Farrelly Brothers. This film never takes itself seriously and if you try to read too much into it or take it as anything more than a horror film with a sense of humor then you are either a complete dumb-ass with no sense of how to enjoy yourself. This movie is fun with a capital ‘F’ and there’s no two ways around it.
A deadly chemical is released into the air and pretty soon the dead have risen and are in search of one thing and thing only and that’s the brains of the living. Now, might I remind you that these re-animated sons of bitches and their life-challenged buddies don’t care to eat the rest of you; just the brains. The brains take away the pain of dying, of feeling their bodies rotting. Well, shit, that is an explanation straight from the cadaver’s mouth and I never would have thought of it. Zombies suffer the same pain I do when I pass by a TV and I hear Snookie or any one of the Kardashians and their mindless drivel. If zombies need brains and human need to get rid of zombie the answer to the equation is quite simple. Lure them to the set of a reality TV series and watch them starve to death. Everyone knows there is no nutritional value in a Kardashian or Jersey Shore cerebellum.
The two heroes of the movie are names Burt and Ernie, obviously an ironic reference to the popular Sesame Street characters, right? Wrong. Turns out Dan O’Bannon didn’t know he was using the names of the two beloved children’s show’s puppets (from liner notes in the Collector’s Edition DVD).
John A. Russo wrote a script called “The Return of the Living Dead” at the same time that George A. Romero was doing Dawn of the Dead. An independent producer, Tom Fox, bought Russo’s script. He set up production and gave the script to Dan O’Bannon. O’Bannon refused to direct it as it was written. He felt that it was too much of a serious attempt at making a sequel to Night of the Living Dead, and did not want to “…intrude so directly on Romero’s turf.” It was re-written with more humor.
Some of the zombie extras were paid more to eat real calf brains in the film. Dan O’Bannon didn’t want the actors to do anything he wasn’t willing to do and ate some raw calf brains first in front of them.
- The Return Of The Living Dead (themoviereport.net)
- Living Dead Return (jacobam.wordpress.com)
- ‘Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3D’: Motion-Capture CGI Zombie Horror (screenrant.com)
- Return Of The Living Dead Screening! (thequietus.com)
- The Return of the Living Dead (1985) Movie Review (oldgamereviewer.com)
- Review of Undead: Night of the Living dead & Return of the Living Dead (geeknative.com)
- UK Readers: Win a Braintastic New The Return of the Living Dead DVD! (dreadcentral.com)
- The Return Of The Living Dead (1985 dir. Dan O’Bannon) (poppeelings.wordpress.com)
- John Russo to Help Select the Next BioGamer Girl (dreadcentral.com)
- Seven of the Deadliest Zombie Hordes (dreadcentral.com)
- The O’Bannon Effect (somecamerunning.typepad.com)
- Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988) – Review (thehorrormoviereview.wordpress.com)
- The Zombification Family Tree: Legacy of the Living Dead (Column) (popmatters.com)
Posted on 07/03/2012, in Films Released in 1985, Movies, Zombie Films and tagged Dan O'Bannon, Farrelly Brothers, George A. Romero, George Romero, Jersey Shore, John Russo, Kim Kardashian, Living Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Return of the Living Dead, Russell Streiner. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.