Ya know what sticks in my craw? That I can’t tell the difference between most of the Baldwin brothers. It’s like a family of doppelgangers. Sure we all know Alec was one of the dead guys on Beetlejuice who talked about his Schweaty balls a lot, but the heck if I can keep the rest of the family straight. I think There’s Stephen, William and…uh… Tito, Jose? They all just sorta blend together especially if you move your head really fast. It’s just a big blur of hair gel and sly grinning. Oh, I’m sure some of them made a good movie here or there, but you could drop any one of them in and switch them out like wiper blades. Nobody would even notice the difference. Heck, I’m not entirely sure that Alec isn’t just punking us into thinking he even has brothers. Maybe he just pretends to be one of them when he wants to play WORDS W FRIENDS on an airplane. Like the Baldwins, I feel much the same way about Return of the Living Dead films. The first one pretty much set the bar for the zomb-coms everywhere. I mean who can forget Linnea shakin’ her money makers on a tombstone, but the rest of the sequels are pretty much the same film over and over. In fact Return of the Living Dead part 2, even has the some of the same actors, James Karen and Thom Matthews. They still play two dimwits who whine about getting turned into brain eating zombies. Excuse me, that already happened in the first film! It’s like the casting director never got the memo that the entire cast getting wiped out in a nuclear blast.
Anyhow, this time around an army truck full of canned zombies accidentally bounces one out the back into 12 year old Jesse’s backyard. He and some neighborhood bullies pop one open causing some green gas to seep into the nearby cemetery. And like everyone knows, when you got green gas around tombstones you get zombies (though it does keep the weeds down.) The Undead break out of mausoleums and start clawing their way up throughout the dirt for a big zombie rave. Seems the only people it town that know about it are Jessee, his areobicizing sister and their cable installer but they all keep the hard thinking to a minimum. Meanwhile all the zombie folk have started brain munching up and down main street and eating runaway pets. A couple of grave robbers Joey and Eddy run into the gang who steal their van and decided the best course of action is to scream a lot and argue. They head to the hospital with their neighborhood doctor just as Joey and Ed begin to show signs of the zombie-flu. Joe eventually goes full on zombie and chases down his girlfriend to an empty church so he can eat her “spicy brains” because he “loves her.” it’s a very tender moment and a weird way to get engaged.
The remaining survivors try to lure the zombies with a hansel and gretel trail of brains bits back to the power station. Their plan is to hose them down and barbecue the dead folk like pulled pork sandwiches with the electric grid. It’s rare to see so many dead people harlem shake. ROTLD2 has Plenty of great f/x zombie action that make up for the cheesy slapstick including a girl punching a zombie through the face and a zombie getting cut in half and still managing a decent moonwalk. Highway honors go to Marsha Dietlein for uttering the great line “they’re ugly and they’re dirty and they’re dumb and I don’t even care if they are dead, they’re not touching me.” now that’s a girl with high standards. I’ll give this a 2 1/2 out of 5 brain pans anyways with an extra half brain pan for the Michael Jackson cameo. Barry Goodall says, dig yourself up a copy or just check out part 3,4,5…doesn’t really matter just don’t open up any more dang army containers.
Watch the trailer to “Return of the Living Dead 2″