The Return of the Living Dead (1985/Collector's Edition Blu-ray/Scream Factory) Review

If you are a fan of horror than this film should need no introduction, but in case you have never seen it I will tell you what this film is about. Freddy (not the melted horror icon) is on his first day at a medical supply company, things are going well until Freddy and his co-worker Frank (James Karen) accidently breaks open a barrel of chemical "2-4-5 Trioxin" which causes the dead to come alive. One thing leads to another and all hell breaks loose when the dead rise from the grave in the search of brains! Meanwhile Freddy's friends are nearby and fighting for their lives as they work their way through the dead and into shelter. Will they survive this night of the living dead or will the dead consume them all!?

This film to me really kicked off the comedy-horror genre and set a standard for it. You can see alot of influence in films like "Shaun of the Dead". It also was the first zombie film to emphasize the zombies need for brains which is commonly mis-credited to the George Romero "living dead" series of films. I see this film as having so many things going for it from the great practical effects, great writing/directing, and an overwhelmingly great cast of characters. It may be my overwhelming love for this film, but I cannot find anything wrong with this film from start to finish.

When it comes to the cast I cannot find find any of them that I did not find entertaining. For genre fans the one that sticks out the most for them is probably Linnea Quigley who has done some great genre films throughout the years. Also she has the memorable scene of her dancing nude in the graveyard which for people like myself is a very unforgettable moment from this film! The cast also consists of Clu Gulager, James Karen, Thom Mathews, Beverly Randolph, and Miguel A. Nunez Jr. just to name a few.This film bounces back and forth between both groups of characters which helps to give them pretty equal screen time for the most part. If I had to pick a favorite it would have to beSpider because he's one of the most logical characters in the bunch.
The special effects in this film are quite awesome and the gore is top notch. The effect I love the most has to be the "Tarman" zombie that looks kinda goofy with it's bulging eyes, but creepy as fuck due to how it moves around. There is some great gore effects especially when the EMT's get attacked and when Suicide gets his head bit by the Tarman zombie. To me these effects are not just good for the time it was released but for the standards of modern practical effects. I will admit that from time to time the zombies when they attacked seemed to of lost some of their makeup which is I'm guessing due to the rain coming down on the actors. Nonetheless I would take what this film offers over any CGI gore/special effects!
If you want the best release of this film then this one is it! I have personally seen this film on almost all of the home video formats.  Each has gotten better and better, but I think this is the best release thus far. You get a 2K scan of the interpositive which looks simply awesome, along with the film you also get tons of special features which also includes the great documentary "More Brains: A Return To The Living Dead" and also the workprint version of the film.If you are a big fan of this film like I am than I cannot recommend this release enough! So throw those older blu-ray and dvd copies on ebay and order this awesome release from Scream Factory!

-Daniel Lee

Director: Dan O'Bannon
Lead Actor/Actress:
Genre: Horror
Blu-ray Release Year: 2016
Theatrical Release Year: 1985
Time Length: 91 mins.
Rating: R
Region Code: Region A
Release Company: Scream Factory
Website: www.shoutfactory.com