Return of the Living Dead Part II Review
By Christopher Null
This mega-campy sequel to Return of the Living Dead (itself a campy takeoff of Night of the Living Dead) offers one of the most sarcastic and silly horror experiences put to film. The setup is unbearably simple: Nerve gas falls off an army truck, kids find it and break it open, and the gas ends up reviving the dead folks in the nearby cemetary.
Those unfortunate enough to be alive and remaining in the town are forced to fend off the legions of zombies, all of whom want nothing more than braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains to munch on. But once a zombie chows on your skull, you turn undead too -- manifest by a gray-green pallor and a near-immediate desire to eat brains. As one character puts it, "Those brains... smell so good! So rich and spicy!"
The army is intent on containing the horde, and it opens fire on anyone trying to escape. That leaves our heroes (a random collection of adults and a kid) to fend for themselves as they hunt for a way to off all the zombies.
21 Jump Street director Ken Wiederhorn offers Return 2 as more comedy than horror, starting right with the cover of the DVD, which features an angry swirl of black cloud that looks more like a mean chihuahua than an evil force. Gags abound: Severed hands flip the bird. Zombies give up when brains are not forthcoming and even crack wise.
Given the abundance of films like this, Return 2 is hardly a classic, but it's far better than it has any right to be.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Tuesday 18th October 2011
Cast & Crew
Producer: Eugene C. Cashman, Tom Fox, William S. Gilmore
Starring: Michael Kenworthy as Jesse Wilson, James Karen as Ed, Thom Mathews as Joey, Suzanne Snyder as Brenda, Marsha Dietlein as Lucy Wilson, Jonathan Terry as Col. Glover, Dana Ashbrook as Tom Essex, Sally Smythe as Mildred Crowley, Don Maxwell as George Crowley, Allan Trautman as Tarman, Philip Bruns as Doc Mandel, Forrest J Ackerman as Harvey Kramer (Special Zombie), Mitch Pileggi as Sarge, Brian Peck as Special Zombie, Thor Van Lingen as Billy Crowley, Jason Hogan as Johnny