Thursday, 27 October 2016

Return of the Living Dead

"Return of the Living Dead" (1985, Dan O'Bannon, Hemdale Film Corporation, A Greenberg Brothers Partnership, Orion Pictures) is a horror comedy about zombies. And punks.

We follow the misadventures of a medical supply warehouse foreman, Frank (James Karen), and his new employee, Freddy (Thom Mathews) when they accidentally release a poisonous gas which both kills the living and reanimates the dead... After escaping the warehouse full of newly animated, hungry cadavers with their boss, Burt (Clu Gulager), they seek the help of the local mortician, Ernie (Don Calfa). The mortuary is unfortunately a bad refuge from the dead, however, due to its close proximity to the graveyard where, amongst other things, a group of teenage punks are having a party...

A fun film with practical effects that are an excellent blend of gruesome humour. The script is witty and well paced satire with enough horror in there to merit this film as a genuinely good genre film as well as a good comedy. The film also enjoys a great soundtrack and some scream queen goodness from Linnea Quigley as punk rocker, Trash, who quickly loses her clothing upon entering the graveyard.

Aside from the fun, goopy, grossness and cheeky nude scenes, the film also manages to branch into some quite deep subject matter with an almost heart-breaking few scenes focussed on some key characters actually slowly and painfully becoming the shambling undead, and a few nods to government conspiracy.

An exciting and remarkable film that really embodies what horror comedy is capable of at its best.

[Image: Hemdale Film Corporation, et al]