Thom Mathews

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Return of the Living Dead Part II Review


OK
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!"

Continue reading: Return of the Living Dead Part II Review

Fail Safe (2000) Review


Good
CBS -- of all places -- remade the original, masterful Fail-Safe, a cautionary tale about nuclear war, jammed full of big name movie stars (check out that cast!), and shot in black and white from Walter Bernstein's original screenplay. It's a very faithful remake, even though the production values (it's shot on video) are atrocious. It's a fabulous original film and a worthwhile redo -- but it comes about 20 years too late. Why waste time remaking a tale about nuclear war with the Soviet Union -- a country that no longer existed -- in this millennium? Still, it's worth a look if you're a fan of the original.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Review


OK
Dumbass Tommy digs up Jason's corpse and stupidly allows a lightning strike to reanimate him. He even drops off Jason's hockey mask for him. Sixth in the Friday the 13th series, the film returns to the roots of the series and largely ignores the pathetic part 5. Jason Lives is widely heralded as the very best film in the series, and I won't argue with that assessment. The gore is standard, but the sense of humor and consistently good running gags push this one to the top of the bloody heap.

The Return of the Living Dead Review


Good
Not another sequel to Night of the Living Dead, The Return of the Living Dead is actually a semi-parody (pioneering for its time) of George Romero's films, with the same plot points (marauding zombies, nasty blood effects) but with a sense of humor not really found in the originals.

The story features two doofus military employees, who accidentally unleash nerve gas on a corpse -- who promptly reanimates -- and end up spreading the plague to a nearby cemetary. A group of punk rockers (including scream queens Jewel Shepard and Linnea Quigley) hanging out at the cemetary play dinner for the zombies that take to the streets.

Continue reading: The Return of the Living Dead Review

Thom Mathews

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