Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters Part 33

Return of the Living Dead is one of those films I'll never get tired of watching. Directed by the great Dan O'Bannon (writer of Alien) who replaced Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Life Force). It takes off on an alternative timeline from Night of the Living Dead (and came out the same year as Romero's Day of the Dead). Produced by NotLD's co-creator, John Russo, Return was a hipper, fast paced zombie flick. Less gory than Romero's, but funny and with better scares.
The soundtrack was amazing as well, featuring such important punk acts as The Cramps, The Flesh Eaters, TSOL and 45 Grave.
Here's The Flesh Eaters
and a fan mixed vid for 45 Grave (NSFW)
Return's living dead are fast, can speak, and are somewhat cunning when it comes to catching the living. It's not just flesh the dead have a taste for-it's "BRAAAIIINSSS..." Also, where Romero's films have a social conscience, Return is played for laughs as much for scares. 

Return was popular enough to spawn 4 sequels. The first two are worth watching for sure.  Part 3 was directed by Brian Yuzna of the ReAnimator series and Fuast. The final two came out within the last decade and are currently collecting dust on my shelf. I am looking forward to watching them soon, though.
I've loved the zombie genre since I was probably 11 and saw Night of the Living Dead for the first time. I've seen tons of zombie flicks, less than half of them being worth mentioning, but the good ones are worth going back to over and over. As a fan I find it pretty exciting that a show like the Walking Dead can be a smash hit with compelling story telling and graphic content, but at the same time I don't like seeing zombie flicks churned out like a short cut to thinking. Return of the Living Dead is modern classic and a must see for fans who like it fast, scary, and funny as hell.
Keep watching the sky, nerds!

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