Taglines: They’re back from the grave and ready To party!
At a medical supply warehouse in Louisville, Kentucky, a foreman named Frank tries to impress the company’s newest employee Freddy by showing him military drums that accidentally wound up in the basement of the building; the drum contains the remains of a military experiment gone wrong that inspired the film Night of the Living Dead. Frank accidentally unleashes the toxic gas, which renders the two unconscious.
When waking up, Frank and Freddy find that the gas reanimated a cadaver inside a meat locker, and contact their boss and warehouse owner Burt Wilson to help them deal with the situation. When decapitation cannot kill the cadaver, Burt decides to bring the corpse to the nearby mortuary to have its dismembered parts burned in a gambit to destroy it once and for all.
Meanwhile, Freddy’s friends learn of his new job from his girlfriend Tina. The group, consisting of Spider, Trash, Scuz, Suicide, Casey, and Chuck, decide to pick Freddy up after he finishes his shift and wait inside the local cemetery. Tina leaves the graveyard and enters the warehouse to look for Freddy.
Her search leads her to the basement, where she unwittingly draws attention from the half-melted corpse from the drum barrel (dubbed “Tarman”) who was initially thought to have dissolved. She locks herself inside a metal closet after a failed attempt to run, but the zombie finds a chained hook and tries to pull the door off.
At the mortuary, Burt gets the mortician Ernie to burn the remains, not realizing that it causes the gas to contaminate the air and bringing a toxic rainfall to resurrect the dead in the graveyard. The acid rain forces Freddy’s friends to refuge inside the warehouse. Once inside, the group hears the basement commotion and immediately rush down to rescue Tina, but Suicide is bitten by Tarman in the process.
This forces the group, including Tina, to abandon Suicide and barricade the door to stop Tarman from coming up. Outside, the group runs through the cemetery to look for Freddy, but are split up when the zombies begin rising from their graves. While the group is running Trash gets surrounded by and eaten by zombies, ironically dying the way she described earlier as the worst way to die. Tina, Spider, and Scuz go to the mortuary, Chuck and Casey head back to the warehouse where Tarman remains trapped downstairs.
The Return of the Living Dead is a 1985 American horror comedy film written and directed by Dan O’Bannon, and starring Clu Gulager, James Karen, and Don Calfa. The film tells the story of how a warehouse owner accompanied by his two employees, mortician friend, and a group of teenage punks deal with the accidental release of a horde of brain-hungry zombies onto an unsuspecting town.
The film is known for introducing the popular concept of zombies eating brains, as opposed to just eating human flesh, like previous zombie iterations, as well as its soundtrack, which features several noted deathrock and punk rock bands of the era. The film was a critical success and performed moderately well at the box office. Its enduring popularity has spawned four sequels and turned it into a cult classic.
The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Directed by: Dan O’Bannon
Starring: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews, Beverly Randolph, Jewel Shepard, Linnea Quigley, Cathleen Cordell
Screenplay by: Rudy Ricci
Production Design by: William Stout
Cinematography by: Jules Brenner
Film Editing by: Robert Gordon
Art Direction by: Robert Howland
Set Decoration by: Ken Kaufman, Robert Lucas
Music by: Matt Clifford
Distributed by: Orion Pictures
Release Date: August 16, 1985