Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Return of the Living Dead (1985)

This semi-sequel to George Romero’s cult chiller is a wonderful tongue-in-cheek horror flick. “They’re back. They’re hungry. And they’re not vegetarian,” blared the poster.


A missing army shipment of top-secret toxic gas is released into the atmosphere by Frank (James Karen) and Freddy (Thom Mathews), two bumbling employees of the Uneeda Medical Supplies company, causing zombie corpses to rise from the dead, in search of human brains to eat.

Their target: a bunch of punk rocker teens who are partying on the tombstones, one of which takes off her clothes in a graveyard, and spends the rest of the film running around naked.

Two of the characters actually “die” but remain conscious. Rigor mortis even sets in on them – and man is it painful. The trapped survivors barricade themselves in a nearby mortuary and watch as paramedics and police officers are attacked and consumed.


Director Dan O’Bannon cleverly makes the zombies – rather than the actors – the real stars of this movie and, unlike the Romero variety, these can speak, though they’re mostly limited to spouting, “Brains, more brains!”

Later, after munching on some policemen, a zombie calls the local precinct and orders them to, “Send more cops!”.

A must for horror fans, this was followed by two sequels of varying quality.

“Did you ever fantasise about all the different ways of dying – violently?”

Clu Gulager
James Karen
Don Calfa
Thom Mathews
Beverly Randolph
John Philbin
Jewel Shepard
Miguel A Nunez Jr

Dan O’Bannon