Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Director: Dan O'Bannon
Starring: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa

An accident at a medical supply warehouse releases a toxic chemical that reanimates the dead.

Having seen Return of the Living Dead: Part II first, I was somewhat intrigued at the prospect of exploring the series further, even though it doesn't have a exactly sterling reputation. The first was supposed to be the best, an unsurprising claim for just about any series. The fact that Dan O'Bannon directed had my interest. However, upon seeing it, I wasn't terribly impressed. There are some interesting things here, such as fast zombies before fast zombies were a thing and a surprising degree of intelligence for the walking dead, but these aren't enough to offset humor that mostly falls flat, a poor script and a cast of generally unlikable characters. Besides the aforementioned interesting elements in the lore, the general quality of the makeup and animatronic effects are points in the film's favor, but it still comes up short in the final tally. It's a bit of a borderline case, but I can't recommend it. If you're curious, give it a shot, but don't expect too much from it.

Avoid It