the Thinking Chicks Guide to Movies

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Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Reviewed on 2011 February 1

This is a mid-’80s punk themed zom-edy, kind of like Evil Dead but even goofier and coarser.

Freddy (Thom Mathews) is an employee at Uneeda Medical Supplies, which specializes in skeletons and cadavers from exotic parts of the world. Conveniently, Uneeda also has tanks of toxic gas from United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases. One of those tanks springs a leak and suddenly the stiffs at Uneeda come back to life. While Freddy and his co-worker Frank (James Karen) are trying to get the undead to just stay dead, a group of Freddy’s punk friends are looking for a place to party. One of them, a freak named Trash (Linnea Quigley), likes to, ahem, dance naked in grave yards, so it’s a small step for them to go see if ol’ Freddy has some beer or something in his office fridge. Punks, meet zombies. Zombies, punks.

Apparently the same people that gave us those wacky belts and bangs at 90 degree angles decided to make a zombie movie. What makes this one a riot is that it knows it’s ridiculous, starting with a title card assuring us that fer sure, it really did happen. Some of the gore is even kind of funny: half of Uneeda’s product is so pickled with embalming fluid that they look like mannequins. Punks. Zombies. The rabid weasel defense. Yep, it’s the apex of ’80s trash cinema.

One chocolate morsel and something like a Bartles & Jaymes® wine cooler.



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