#10 -- Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Director: Dan O'Bannon
Rating: 5 / 5

The '80s is my favorite decade for movies. They're not the greatest in any sense - the acting, direction, filming, effects. But that's part of what makes them the greatest, and they're the most entertaining and creative. They just don't make them like that anymore. This movie is a great example of that. No, it's not perfect. But it is amazing. 

We start off with Freddy, who has just started a new job at a medical supply warehouse. His boss is showing him around, and they end up in the basement. He shows him a couple vats of something. It is a military drug called Trioxin that they used to bring soldiers back to life. His boss tells him that it's built strong and nothing can break it. He then slaps it, and it breaks open, filling the air with a mist of Trioxin. They inhale a great deal of it and end up getting "sick." Everything in the place starts coming to life. There are little butterflies tacked to boards that begin fluttering around; there are little half-dogs that are used for study; and a corpse hanging in a freezer. When the corpse came out, I just knew I was going to hate this movie. It was green and it looked like it was made out of plastic. They cut his head off, and he started running around like a chicken with...Well, you know the rest. And I thought, "Wow, this is so stupid." I didn't think, at that point, that this would become one of my favorite movies. The original zombie, known affectionately by ROTLD fans as "Tarman," that came from the Trioxin vat has become the most famous character in this entire series. 

Meanwhile, Freddy's girlfriend Tina is hanging out in the graveyard with his punk friends: Trash, Suicide, Spider, Scuz, and a couple others that I can't remember. They are accosted by zombies and are forced to run into the warehouse.

Freddy and his bosses (the big boss has showed up) cut up the green guy and decide to take him to the cemetery where there is a crematorium. They tell the mortician that they have rabid weasels that they want to burn alive. But the mortician will not do it, and eventually learns the truth. When he realizes that there's a zombie in those bags, he is more than happy to burn it up. In doing so, though, more Trioxin leaks from the chimney and into the local graveyard. All the bodies there come to life, and the fun begins.Freddy and Burt (the little boss; the big guy is Frank) also learn something about themselves. They are dying slowly; but they're not dying, exactly. If you know what I mean.

There's a little T & A in this one. We get to see Trash (a pretty hot chick) dance around naked to a song called "Tonight (We'll Make Love 'Till We Die)." And of course, being made in the '80s, there are some funny parts. When Freddy has become a full-fledged zombie, he wants to eat his girlfriend (ha-ha). She's hiding in the attic with the mortician, and you can hear him saying, "Tina! I know you're up there. I can smell your braiiiiinnnnssss!"

There's also a zombie that looks like an old lady. They interrogate her, asking her why she eats people. "Not people, braiiinss," she said. She tells them that being dead hurts and that eating brains "makes the pain go away," and that she can "feel herself rot." Also, we see a little midget zombie eating a paramedic. And the famous line, "Send more paramedics," which inspired a great band.

It may be cheesy but, hell, that's what we like about it. But when you get past the cheese, it's a great movie. It's about zombies; what could possibly go wrong?

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