All notes and summary below by Chris Fischer (1998).

Notes: 92 minutes.
Bert: Clu Gulager
Frank: James Karen
Ernie: Don Calfa
Freddy: Thom Mathews
Spencer: Miguel Nunez
Scott: Brian Peck
Chuck: John Philein
Trash: Linnea Quigley
Tina: Beverly Randolf
Casey: Jewel Shepard
Suicide: Mark Venturini

Directed: Dan O'Bannon
Produced: Tom Fox
Story: Rudy Ricci, John Russo, Russel Streihner

It's the good ol' days with bad hair and punk rockers; it's the early eighties--1984, to be exact, in the town of Louisville, Kentucky. Freddy and his uncle, Frank are touring the local medical supply warehouse. At the same time the Freddy's girlfriend is with her fellow punk rocking friends looking for something to do. What's the first thing that pops into their minds? Why don't we go fool around in the cemetery?

Freddy has just been hired by his uncle to help him in the medical supply business. Bed pans, wheel chairs, dogs cut in half, and good old cadavers: this place has it all. During the process of Freddy's orientation, Frank mentions that back in 1969, the government along with DOW Chemical developed a mixture which was supposedly designed to destroy marijuana plants. A leak developed in one of the holding tanks releasing a large cloud of the chemical. It drifted to the cemetery and brought all the dead buried there back to life. The army caught these reanimated creatures and placed them in sealed canisters which were to be shipped to some containment facility. Unfortunately, the shipment got screwed up and was sent to the medical supply warehouse where Freddy was working.

Curiosity gets the best of Freddy as he and Frank go down to the basement to look at the "corpse in can." To speed things up, Frank smacks the side of the canister and releases some of the lovely chemical right in their faces. When they finally awake from their gassed siesta, Freddy and Frank waren't feeling so good. After gagging up the stairs and performing some pretty good bazooka barfs, Frank has the boss come to the warehouse to try and straighten things out. When the boss arrives, he tries to cover up the incident by cleaning up all the evidence. However, remember Mr. Cadaver in the meat locker? WWF breaks out with Freddy, Frank, and the boss versus the walking dead guy who is trying to eat their brains. With a mighty meat saw the corpse is bagged along with his little half-dogs, too.

So, now with corpse in hand, what the hell do you do with it? I know, let's go to the embalmer next door. Within about twenty minutes of story time, Mr. Cadaver and the half-dogs are flame broiled, Burger King style. Great. No more walking dead guy, no more problems. Wrong. Remember all that nasty chemical Freddy and Frank inhaled? Turns out this stuff will turn a living being into a walking, blood-hungry zombie. Now that Freddy and Frank are slowly going into rigor mortis, the fumes from the crematory float into the sky and start a downpour of burning acid rain, which is now dumping on the punk rockers. They take refuge in the car which brought them to the keen place for a party, but it springs a leak. The rain eventually soaks into the ground and before you know it, a bunch of brain-hungry zombies are trying to devour the punk rockers. Somehow Freddy's girlfriend escapes and manages to find him, after a few of her friends come and save her from the canned corpse in the basement of the medical supply warehouse.

Just about all of the characters are dead by now. Freddy and Frank have turned into zombies. The uncle has enough sense to throw himself into the incinerator and end his contribution to the movie. Freddy decides that it is time to suck out his girlfriend's brains and corners her and the mortician in the attic. The boss and a few of the remaining punk rockers make it back to the warehouse and call that magic number on the side of the canister. You know, the one labeled "in case of emergency." The army comes to the rescue all right, with a small nuclear weapon which cleared out about 20 square blocks of the town. But hey, problem solved.

Return of the Living Dead takes me back to when I was a little kid in the early '80s. When was the last time you watched a movie with puck rockers in it? If there is any theme in this movie, other than walking dead guys trying to eat out your brains, it's the familiar background where the army oopsed and made some nasty stuff which caused all hell to break loose. Gosh darn that army anyway!

Beer Factor: 4

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