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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Movie Review: Return of the Living Dead Part II

Out for a walk during a dark and creepy night, you hear a strangled voice cough out a single word. Braainsss... What do you do? In January 1988, anyone who heard that word quickly ran for their lives.

Directing this 89 minute horror/comedy is Ken Wiederhorn.

Trying to stay alive is: Michael Kenworthy as Jesse Wilson, Marsha Dietlein as Lucy Wilson, James Karen as Ed, Thom Mathews as Joey, Dana Ashbrook as Tom Essex, Suzanne Snyder as Brenda, Philip Bruns as Doc Mandel and Thor Van Lingen as Billy.

After some kids find an old oil drum lost by the Army, they start messing with it. Can you guess what happens next? That's right! It gets opened and something leaks out. What you ask? Well of course the only thing that could come from a mysterious looking oil drum... mysterious gas... that has the
properties to resurrect the dead. Of course everything starts to go down hill from there as all the scared survivors, try to stay... survivors.

Who remembers the time before zombies were hyped up on speed and the living was a buffet to be had by the dead? For those of us that remember a time when the undead's movement was bound up by decay and their delicate pallets were only satisfied by one delicacy... BRAINSSsss!!! Then this is the flick for you.
                                                                         
                                                             
Like all things, the past holds the classics that not only entertained us, but paved the way for what entertains us now. Who knew that a simple act like raising the dead would become such a staple in today's entertainment industry. Yet, like all things birthed umpteen years ago, they evolve. Be it the guiding eye of a directer wanting to stand out, or a writer describing an already known world through their eyes, things change. As these different views have popped up over time, I've diligently watched them all with pad and pen in hand taking notes on what to do. Preparing myself for whatever the threats or possibilities may be.

Sometimes though, you get that desire to revisit the past, to see how everything came to be, which brought me to Return of the Living Dead... 2! Actually, the desire also made me watch the first one, but as I'm writing this the sequel is on. So! This flick is so not a scary zombie movie by any means, which is one of the many reasons it's so good. You get all the great stuff you need for a zombie flick like great special effects, bunches of undead, people in parallel and people doing stuff that makes no sense while trying to survive. All of this is held together with boat loads of comedy and little tweaks on the "zombie folklore" to help either add more comedy or to push the playthrough along.

Now, for those of us that have never seen this one, prepare yourself before watching it. Because you won't find a dark doomy apocalyptic man's last stand kind of thing here. No, think more cheesy Shaun of the Dead with rocking 80's beats (like Anthrax) pumping you up for the Stooge's like zombie onslaught.

Now the CGI here... wait-a-minute, wrong movie! Because you won't find any CGI here. Just straight up old school special effects, that were really good looking for their time period. The most scary thing you'll find here is probably the acting... or the bad one liners... no, no it's the acting. Now, another one of the scares they dropped in here was that a shot to the head didn't stop the undead. Well crap, now what do we do? Watch it and find out, you'll not only get a kick out of it but also the answer to stopping these old school undead brain harvesters. Now if you'll excuse me the credits are rolling and I have a Monster Mash to groove to. Peace!

It's rated R for language, violence and gore.

3 rotting stars are clawing their way out of the earth for this one.


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