The Return of the Living Dead Part 2

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In this sequel to the brain eating bonanza, a group of kids once again release the deadly trioxin gas that reanimated the dead previously. This time around the undead create havoc not just in one single graveyard but throughout an entire town, going first after the residents of a new subdivision and then staking a claim to the city itself.

The second installment in the Return series actually manages to surpass the first. I love seeing my brethren getting so much choice acting time during a movie. I mean, we do talk after all and you don’t get to see that in a lot of movies. It’s like just because we prefer to moan it must mean we can’t talk, no, it just means we get a little overly excited when around the living and talking becomes a little difficult. Besides, we’re trying to eat you not discuss the current state of the world…unless we’ve been drinking but that’s a topic for another day, and man do zombies love to drink. When not hungry we’re actually great conversationalist. We can obviously type as well; otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this review.

Part two starts off with the last few containers of the deadly Trioxin gas that caused so much trouble in the first flick falling off an army truck while being transported after the events of part one. One container falls into the local reservoir conveniently located right next to the local cemetery, a cemetery where three kids come to play the very next day. The three happen upon the lone container and begin the cycle all over again. Once the gas releases it begins seeping into the graveyard where two grave robbers are hard at work robbing the dead (the same two bumbling employees from the first film, different characters but same actors). The grave robbing pair are infected as the dead begin to rise around them; meanwhile, two of the three kids who unleashed the gas are turned themselves and only one manages to escape what was released from the container, quickly running home in the hopes that it was all just a terrible nightmare. Unfortunately for him it’s far from a nightmare and the dead quickly spread out, shambling into the subdivision where our one surviving kid lives and where the newly infected grave robbers have taken refuge. The undead nearly finish them all off but thank god for the local town doctor and his getaway car, not to mention the fact that they are lucky enough to run into him while escaping through a subdivision built right next to a cemetery (remind me to look into the surrounding area whenever I buy a house please, after all, even the dead have specifics). The ever growing group ends up trying to flee the town but finds that the army has now blocked off all escape, meaning they must now try and figure out how to rid the town of the undead menace before they become a part of that very same menace themselves.

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{Yes, our bumbling morticians are back as bumbling grave robbers and once again they are my favorite characters}

I have to say they really amped up and improved upon the humor this time around. The sequel to one of my favorite classics goes more for the laughs then it goes for the scares and does an amazing job at it. The acting went up a notch as well, don’t expect amazing performances or anything like that but here was definitely an improvement. The effects are on par with the first movie and the makeup is awesome. The characters this time around include two whiney grave robbers (the same two whiney employees from the first movie, James Karen and Thom Matthews, who seem to remember being though this once before but can’t figure out why), a comic book loving kid, his sister, and an alcoholic doctor who handles the zombie apocalypse better than most (in fact he seems more worried about getting scratches on his car then bites on his body, though when you see his car it isn’t hard to understand why).

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{Romance is very much alive in this film}

They keep the zombie call for brains around in this one as well, with the undead craving it like cookie monster craves well…what the hell does he eat again? They give the zombies much more personality this time around as well and I adore the jokes that my brothers and sisters come up with while attacking their living prey. The body count is also higher which, as any fan of horror will agree, isn’t something to complain about. The one thing I have never been able to figure out though is how they bite through the skull. I mean my teeth are pretty strong and I’ve bitten the fingers off many a living human as a snack, but biting through the skull seems like it would be a bit too tough for me, no, scratch that, it is way too fucking tough for me.

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{I don’t think either one of these guys are biting through a skull}

The one real complaint I have is pretty much the same as the first one. While I do think the effects hold up better than those of the first, the acting still brings it down a notch. Not as terrible as Part One but still lacking at times.

Just like with the first one, if you are a zombie fan then this is a must see. This film is one of the pinnacles of zombie film making. Plus, it’s hard for the undead to get work with the whole snapping at the living problem, so any help we can get procuring more is always appreciated.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Ken Wiederhorn (Shock Waves, A House in the Hills)

Starring: Michael Kenworthy (The Blob, ‘night Mother), James Karen (The Return of the Living Dead, Apt Pupil), and Thom Mathews (The Return of the Living Dead, Friday the 13th Part 6)

Released By: Greenfox and Lorimar Film Entertainment

Release Year: 1988

Release Type: Theatrical Release

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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