There were key movies in my life that helped to make me who I am today. Movies that I have loved from the moment the opening credit rolled and still love now. This blog series is about those, My guilty pleasures, my favorites, my escapes. Some were very popular, others not so much. Some of these will have some real life take-aways, others are just for fun.
Today’s Key Movie:
After the tragic events of Return of the Living Dead, the Zombie plague has once again been contained. This is short lived, however when some kids get a hold of the barrels that started it all.
Why this movie?
With the advent of Return of the Living Dead, Zombies were back in the minds of everyone in the 80’s. Now, not only did the dead rise from the grave but they now were interested in one thing and one thing only, BRAAAAAINS!!!
Seeing how fun the previous sequel to Night of the Living Dead was, the moment Return of the Living Dead part 2 hit VHS, I knew I had to see it. I mean, even the movie poster was enough to get me interested! While I can’t say it was as good as the first one, this will always be a film that has a special place in my heart.
You like it, but is it really a ‘good’ movie?
As I indicated above, this one is a rough one but it is a B-Horror film in only the purest sense. To think that a film like this will be anything more than a silly and often unbelievable adventure is just asking for it. That being said, while the first film really had a pretty solid plot, and did a pretty great job staying on just this side of hokey, Part two takes the baton and runs way past the finish line allowing itself to fully embrace its nature as a horror comedy film. From more than silly plot lines to even rather comedic music this film relishes in it’s B-film status making it a cult classic in only the purest sense of the word.
The thing that makes this film even more unique is that it has no problem recognizing its own campy-ness. It even goes as far as to cast previous actors from the last film in new roles that ultimately arrive in the same place with them as infected ghouls. The fun comes when they actually mention that they feel like they have done all of this before.
Special effects wise, for the 80’s you will be hard pressed to find better Zombies and decaying creatures. I mean, they really knew how to do it back then with even low budget filmmakers taking a level of pride in their work instead of taking the easy way out in terms of effects and quality. I still stand by the use of practical effects in films and, even though this is a pretty silly film, it really manages to show how real vs CG still manages to stand the test of time.
It is abundantly clear that everyone in this film love what they are doing and boy does it show. Even the kid actors in this do their very best being careful not to dial it too far past 11 in their performances while also maintaining a certain level of campy-ness that is required for such a film. Director Ken Wiederhorn, who was also responsible for several episodes of the short lived tv series Freddy’s Nightmares, knows how to blend horror and comedy in a way that really makes it a memorable event and not just another lame B-movie.
Overall, while not quite as good as the first film in the ‘Living Dead’ series, this is a fun film for any fan of 80’s B movie horror flicks. You could certainly do worse.
OK, where do I get this movie?
You can pick up a pretty great copy of this film from Shout Factory for around $35. Between the transfer and the great extras, it is well worth the price of entry. Only pick it up if you are a fan of B-horror or you might find yourself dissapointed. That being said, you can find this one via most streaming services for a decent price as well.
If you dig 80’s horror and B-movies, love zombies and campy films, then Return of the Living Dead Part 2 is certainly for you!
As the norm, here is the trailer:
Late To The Game 7/16/2020
If you would like to read more reviews please check out the rest of the Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday.
For more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here. and, If you dig Music, I have a semi regular series called Stand Out Albums that covers some of my favorite records I have come across in life.
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!