Return of the Living Dead
I noticed our local community center now offers the aerobic workout class “Pole Dancing 101.” I never realized that this was actually an aerobic exercise or that it required classes. Sure Jazzercise makes sense because you have a lot calories to burn when you have to do all those jazz hands moves, but didn’t expect to see a pole dancing class in the brochure next to the intro to scrapbooking and decoupage for beginners. I wonder do you have to bring your own pole? Does it offer you tips in properly securing dollars bills in your g-string when hanging upside down and not getting you hair wet in the beer pitchers? All legitimate questions any pole dancing beginner should be taking into consideration. Also since this is intro 101 does that mean there’s advanced classes? If so then we could we perhaps see this as an Olympic sport someday and I for one welcome this type of sleazercise to the Olympic stage. It could sure bring in more money for those school fundraisers too.

Return of the Living DeadSpeaking of extreme nekkid dancing. Linnea Quigley makes her cinematic mark as scream queen extraordinaire with all her nekkid gyrations on tombstones in “The Return of the Living Dead.” Linnea may have actually induced puberty in many a young boy in 1985 just from that scene alone and even her Ronald McDonald haircut can’t distract us from drooling over the best onscreen tombstone striptease ever filmed. But hold on I’m getting off subject here…there also happens to be zombies too!

This undead brain muncher classic starts off when a group of army brats decide to ship the remaining zombies left over from of the Night of the Living Dead incident to a medical supply room in Louisville Kentucky. In typical government engineering fashion the seals on the tank are about as thick as cheese paper……and soon they start to ooze out some funky fumes. Not a bong in sight the two workers there Frank and Freddy take a forced zombie-flu snooze and awake to find all hells breaking loose. The boss man, Burt is called in to try to help wrangle up the freeze burned cadavers and half dissected dogs who have since reanimated and are tearing up his shop.

Burt whose best friends with Ernie the mortician (Sesame Street lawyers start your letters now) enlists him to help burn the remains in his crematorium so as not to tarnish the shining reputation of his medical business. Yes, a company that already stores zombies in it’s basement but who are we to judge. Burt begs Ernie to burn the chopped up remains so that not even the bones are left and as everyone should know the best way to get people to burn your cadaver is to tell them it’s rabid weasels. Lesson learned.

Ernie tosses them in and cooks them on high causing the oven to billow out a bunch of zombie smoke into the air and leaves behind the fresh scent of pine. Soon the rain starts a pourin’ thanks to before mentioned nekkid rocker rain dance and the toxic smoke rains down on the graveyard. Brain cravin’ zombies start popping up like weeds and thousands of the undead that can run like Carl Lewis take over the cemetery. Turns out brains make the dead feel better and calm their nerves, sorta like Häagen-Dazs for pregnant women. The survivors hold up in the mortuary while a dead oily guy in the basement does some contortionist breakdancing moves stalking the punk rocker survivors.

Freddy’s girlfriend Tina stumbles upon oily face zombie in the basement and locks herself in a locker (ha the irony!) but good old oily face has got some mad MacGyver skills and rigs a crane and pulley system to open the door. She barely escapes when the rest of her punk rocker friends bust in to save here. One of them gets a chunk of his brains chewed out but he never had a decent line in the film anyways thinning the punk rocker herd.

Return of the Living DeadMeanwhile Frank and Freddy who breathed the zombie fumes are looking pretty bad, sweaty, and pale. I don’t think their medical insurance even covers chronic zombification. The paramedics are even called in only to confirm that they’re already dead and then get attacked by a zombie horde on the way out. Worse doctor bedside manners ever!

Frank and Freddy justifiably freak out and are locked in the mortuary’s church while the others try to fend off the zombie herds unsuccessfully. Undead Freddy starts chasing his girlfriend around the place trying to convince her that he loves her for her body and  not her brains but she just douses him with acid. That’s what we call around here “Tough Love.” Tina and Ernie holds up in the attic while Freddy stumbles around all melty face downstairs yellin’ “Brains” and Burt tries to and escape in the a Chevy Malibu. Good luck, those cars have no handling whatsoever when running over zombies and I should know.

Burt in a last ditch effort calls the military 1-800 number on the side of the zombie spam can so the army can do what they do best, blow crap up. Really the best lesson learned from this films… keep your food sealed fresh, never rely on army intelligence, and avoid Kentucky in a nuclear fallout.

ROTLD has all the perfect ingredients for shlocky 80’s horror mixed well and served with a side of satire. There’s brain-chompin’,  head-rollin’, blood-spoutin’, and zombie dwarfism. What more can you ask for? Retroman Steve says check it out. It’s one of my all time favorite zombie film. Just be sure to “send moooore paramedics.”

– Zombie spam cans
– 1 naked punk rocker
– Half a zombie, half a dog
– Brain-munchin’
– Leg-grabbin’
– Acid rain dance
– Pick axe to the head
– Chopped up freezer burned cadavers
– The dreaded rabid weasel defense
– Acid to the face
– Embalming fu
– Zombie-midget-fu
– Kentucky fallout

9.8 out of 10

We’ll be showing “The Return of the Living Dead” on Friday the 13th at Wells Hall on MSU Campus. There’ll be a zombie costume contest and tons of great giveaways. Check out all the details at
B.Y.O.B. Bring your own Brains.

Check out the trailer for The Return of the Living Dead