Director: Dan O’Bannon
Starring: Thom Mathews, James Karen, Clu Gulager
Dan O’Bannon may have only directed two features, The Return of the Living Dead in 1985 and The Resurrected in 1991, but his accomplishments as a writer are pretty impressive. He created Alien, Heavy Metal, Blue Thunder, Lifeforce, Total Recall; quite an awesome list of horror and sci-fi standards. He died at an early age of Crohn’s disease, which was said to be his inspiration for the famous chest-bursting scene in Alien, which is a very sad factoid. Here, in Return of the Living Dead, he gave us one of the all-time best zombie cult classics, and a film that never gets old.
In a medical supply warehouse near Louisville, a new kid and a veteran employee discuss the legend of the undead, specifically a movie that was made about supposed true events, events that Frank just happens to know all about and is willing to educate Freddy on. Well, the idiotic pair accidentally open a US Army container that was meant to remain closed, and a vapor is released that causes the bodies in the warehouse to reanimate. When they try to burn those corpses, the smoke infects a nearby graveyard, and all hell break loose, literally!
What an excellent b-movie, a first-class zombie flick, and a rockin’ good time. O’Bannon was some sort of genius to have come up with this screenplay; a twisted genius maybe, but a genius all the same. He was able to direct one heck of an intense horror flick, with action at the beginning, the end, and everywhere in between, not a moment to lose when it comes to ghouls eating brains, I guess. The characters were constantly frantic, the danger just kept escalating, and the end will blown you away, just wait for it. This film is so fun, so freaky, and wild in all the right ways, a true cult hit.
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆