Monday, October 22, 2012

HMM '12 Day 22: Return of the Living Dead

It's October! That means two very important things: Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts are here, and Halloween is near! My favorite thing to do in October to prepare myself for Halloween is to, of course, watch movies that I feel best exemplify the season. Now, this doesn't just mean extreme gore fests (of course, I do love me some gore), but I like to include movies that have that Halloween feel. Anyway, let's get to Day 22 of Halloween Movie Madness 2012!

Return of the Living Dead
(MGM, 1984)

Return of the Living Dead poster

Tonight's flick is one of my favorite movies in this year's Halloween Movie Madness.  Return of the Living Dead was written by John Russo, who co-wrote Night of the Living Dead with George Romero.  After the two parted ways after NotLD, Russo retained the rights to "Living Dead", while Romero was free to use "of the Dead" in his titles.  This has caused a bit of confusion in the past and has caused people to believe that Return of the Living Dead was a sequel to NotLD.  However, once you actually watch the movie, you find that to be false - mostly.

Return of the Living Dead Disclaimer

That screen right there is the first thing you see when the movie start, and I feel that it does a great job of setting the tone of this film.  It's supposed to be a HorCom.  Yes, HorCom.  If they can call Romantic Comedies RomCom, then dammit we can call this type of flick a HorCom.  From here, we see two guys working in a medical warehouse: Freddy and Frank.  This is also Freddy's first night on the job.  We then get a cut to Freddy's girlfriend & friends trying to find someplace to hang out and have fun.  They decide to go pick Freddy up from work (and they end up partying in the nearby cemetery).  Anyway, back to Frank and Freddy.  Frank starts telling Freddy about the strangest things he has seen at the warehouse.  He takes him into the basement to show him some special canisters.  What's inside them you might ask?  Why, zombies, of course!  It turns out that the events in Night of the Living Dead were based on a true story.

They tried to cover up the events that happened, and they stored the zombies in canisters.  Somehow, this warehouse got a few of them.  Freddy is scared that they might leak after seeing a corpse in one of them, so Frank decides to show him how sturdy the canisters are by giving one a nice thump on the side of it.  This causes the canister to crack and release the reanimating culprit, 2-4-5 Trioxin.  Frank and Freddy pass out, the glass on the canister breaks, and the body inside starts to melt.

Return of the Living Dead zombie
Send more paramedics!
When Frank and Freddy make it back upstairs, they hear a dog whining.  It's actually only half of a dog, like something that would be used in a science class.  Thanks to the gas, it has come back to life.  They try to smash it with a crutch.  The dead butterflies start flapping their wings again.  Then, they hear screaming from the freezer.

I don't want to give too much away from here, because it's all pretty cool and gory.  And freaky.  Oh man, out of all of the zombie movies I have, certain zombies in this movie freak me the hell out.  Like the Tarman.  That creature design and how he acts freaks me out every time.  Especially when he is trying to eat the brains of a girl who shut herself in a supply closet.  The way he is looking in at her, trying to get her... oh man.

Return of the Living Dead Tarman zombie

Oh yeah, the zombies in this movie?  They can talk.  They also retain most of their motor skills.  This movie also introduced the idea of zombies craving brains.  Why?  Well, it's eases the pain of being dead and feeling your body rotting.  At least, that's what one zombie tells people in this movie.  They also don't die just by destroying their brains or removing the heads.  You have to burn or electrocute them.

One of the best features about the version of the DVD that is currently available right now is the Zombie Subtitles.  They come up whenever zombies are on the screen.  There are some great lines that come from this.  They really add to the film.

Anyway, I HIGHLY recommend this movie.  Like I said before, there is some great gore in this movie.  If you like HorComs, this is one that won't let you down!