Night 3 of 13 Nights of Halloween

Do you like scary movies?

It’s time to “be afraid, be very afraid” as SpoilerFreeReviews is dropping 13 spooky movies for fans to enjoy this PSL season. We will be posting our most frightful Halloween favorites over the next 13 spooky nights. So come join us around the fire as we tell our 13 creepy Halloween favorites. 🎃 

File under one of the best horror-comedies that you’ve likely never seen, THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD is NOT a George Romero film, but it’s a classic zombie flick nonetheless. 

I grew up watching Romero’s zombie films. His 1978 cult-classic DAWN OF THE DEAD remains one of my all-time favorites. Romero’s films have spawned many sequels, some reboots (like Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of DAWN), and have inspired countless other zombie IP’s from THE WALKING DEAD to SHAUN OF THE DEAD to 28 DAYS LATER to obviously THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD too. But here’s a small piece of film history to tuck into the back of your brain for the next trivia night: It was right here in this 1985 “mordant punk comedy” directed by Dan O’Bannon (who also wrote the screenplay) that zombies on film first craved brains, not in any of Romero’s previous films where they hunted for living flesh instead. BRAINZ…. BRAAAAAAAINZZZZZZ!!! 🧟🧠

THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD is absolutely fun from start to finish. To the modern audience it might seem like the type of film you should only watch at a midnight cult-film festival (and if you get that chance you absolutely should), but beneath that surface is some true dark comedy, a lot of zombie gore, a sharp critique of the 1980s military industrial complex, and a healthy mix of partying and hedonism that only an 80s teen sex romp can deliver. If the zombies seem a little smarter and faster here than they were in earlier zombie-centered films, you’re right. ROTLD is just self-aware enough of zombies as a film medium to have the characters drop lines about how they think they should kill the living dead  – because they saw it work in a movie. 

Laugh, scream, but most importantly don’t get bit because these zombies are “back from the grave and ready to party” says the film’s infamous tag-line.  

THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD is streaming now on HBOMax. Invite your friends over for a midnight viewing as there ain’t no party like a zombie party. 

Jami Losurdo

When not writing film and tv reviews, Jami is expanding her collection of colorful sunglasses, lifting weights, and working her day job as a Digital Advertising Director. An alumnus of NYU Tisch for Film/TV, Jami made Los Angeles her home in the early 2000s and continues her quest to find the very BEST tacos of all time.

Tarush Mohanti

Tarush Mohant is a playlist curator and music explorer, the creator of illussongs (illustrations of songs), and has a fitness plan motivated by action movies (running, climbing, swimming, hiking).

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