Director: Bill Philputt
Starring: Thom Mathews, Clu Gulager, Linnea Quigley, Brian Peck, Beverly Randolph
The definitive Return of the Living Dead documentary
The zombie genre had seen its highlight with Dawn of the Dead in 1978 and it would go another six years before a new American made zombie film would fully satisfy the general horror audience. The film did well in the box office and is remembered as being one of the best zombie films from the 80’s and is also included in several top 10 lists of the horror infested decade aswell.
The film would spark four sequels, none of which was very well received from the public. This documentary gives us the insight of the participants of the film and let’s them give us the story behind the zombie classic.
This documentary is a very nice treat for fans of Return of the Living Dead. If you are a big fan of the film, then that’s all you need to know before jumping to another website and order it. Need another reason? Some of the involved were also involved in the fantastic Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy documentary.
It should be said that if you are a fan of the sequels, then you might be a little disappointed. I personally saw the second film before the first when I was young and liked it a lot, so it sucks to hear the cast of the first one badmouth it so much, but they are allowed to have their opinion and it’s not uncommon for people involved to mix their enjoyment of working on the set with their opinion on the final product.
What sucks more however is that the sequels are only extra material on the DVD and not a part of the main documentary. The extras are long enough though with the feature on the second film running around 30 minutes and the third film getting 20 minutes to shine. There is no mentioning of the two 2005 efforts Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis or Return of the Living Dead: Rave of the Dead. They are both very crappy films, but have their part in the saga and I wish they could have been mentioned.
Just like the Never Sleep Again documentary, the participants here have fond memories of the film and are happy to talk about their involvement. The filmmakers are probably very happy and enthusiastic people to bring this fun spirit out of everybody and I can’t wait to see what film series they are gonna be doing next.
It’s always great to see a documentary about a film series that are done 10+ years ago since the participants don’t have any reason to hold back their feelings on the film and their co-stars. There is some hints that some of the cast didn’t care that much about one of the female actresses, but they all stay very classy instead of bitching about it.
I never knew that Brian Peck was involved some way or another in all three films and he seems very happy about it. He also gets to narrate the documentary and seems like he wouldn’t mind taking about the film for several hours. The rest of the cast members, including the always adorable Linnea Quigley, all come off as nice people and I enjoyed seeing them talk about the film. It’s with no doubt that they all have some affection for it, just like the fans have.
The film ends with a scene shot with the director Dan O’Bannon, who died before this documentary was done. It’s a touching scene and a respectful way of ending the story of Return of the Living Dead. More Brains is a great documentary for all the fans of the film and well worth buying on its own.