Movie: "Return Of The Living Dead Part II"
Year: 1988
Rated: R
Genre: Horror
Directed by: Ken Wiederhorn
Writing credits: Ken Wiederhorn

Reviewer: The Nun Eater
Posted: 10/6/2010

Plot: When the military loses track of another one of its barrels of Trioxin zombie gas, a boy and two bullies stumble across it and unleash its contents on a unsuspecting community. Meanwhile a guy tries to earn some extra cash by helping rob graves with his new boss when they're caught in the surrounding chaos. Hilarity ensues when the whole city is engulfed in a by the zombie attack.

Review: In 1968 George A Romero and John A. Russo released their movie, "Night of the Living Dead," and it effectively changed the way the zombie genre would be for the rest of time. It was, and still is, the base for all things zombie. After the movie the two writers were at a indifference in what direction to take the next film. Eventually the two reach a agreement that any movie done by George would be referred to as Dead, while John's would be called Living Dead. John would go on to write a book in entitled "Return of the Living Dead". It was later adapted into a film by the same name. It did so well that three sequels were made, with only one of them being worth watching in my opinion. This is the review of that one, Return of the Living Dead Part II.

The movie begins in the rain with the military transporting trucks full of their experimental Trioxin gas. One truck driver, too preoccupied with his weed and rock music, looses one of the barrels and it rolls into a river. The next morning local kid Jesse Wilson awakes to his bully Billy waiting for him. When Billy and his pal chase Jesse into a tunnel (conveniently located next to a graveyard) they discover the Trioxon barrel. Unable to fight their curiosity, they began examining the barrels only to make a run for it after they discover the corpse inside. While running Jesse is locked in a mausoleum by Billy in a attempt to prevent him from calling the military.

Meanwhile a van arrives at the cemetery with three colorful individuals named Joey, Brenda and Ed. Joey and Brenda are your average 80s couple with the exception they came to help Ed rob graves. Brenda is instructed to wait in the van while they go grave robbing. On the way Ed explains how buyers will only buy buried skulls but for some reason they decide to start in the mausoleum were Jesse has been locked up. When his chance occurs Jesse makes a break for it while the to graveyard workers continue their noble work.

Back at the tunnel Billy and friend decide to play some more with their new toy, unleashing the gas contained inside. In true fashion of the series a rain storm follows helping spread it to the surrounding cemetery. Jesse, back at his home with his baby sitter, sees Billy return home looking sick and decides to investigate. Jesse is stoped when the door bell rings and he's force to hide from Lucy the baby sitter. While the newly introduced cable guy Tom starts flirting with Lucy, Jesse makes a break for Billy's house to ensure his bully's safety. Concerned to find his bully in considerable bad shape, Jesse returns to the tunnels only to discover the first zombie. The cemetery starts to come alive as Jesse runs out and Brenda runs in worried about her lover.

Brenda encounters the zombies face to face and punches right into ones face expelling a substance that is similar to Nickelodeon slime. The brilliant part about these movies is that the Zombies only die when blown up or electrocuted, so it just keeps stumbling around with a whole in it's face. Back at the mausoleum having collected a severed head in their bag, the two grave robber are taking a break that is cut short when a zombie awakens and greets them with a big smile. Scared shitless they grab their head and take off through the zombie infested cemetery and hook up with Brenda on their way out.

They run hysterically through town eventually arriving at Jesses house, who at the time is attempting to call the government about the impending zombie attack. The three stooges decide to steal Tom's van and make a break for it just crash it into the phone lines and thwarts Jesse's attempt. They all return to Jesse's house with new sense of zombie phobia. Everything seems to calm down for a bit when the head that Ed has been hauling around starts to move in its bag. Ed removes it and everyone starts to freak out. This is my personal favorite scene in the movie because Tom stabs it with a screwdriver to dispose of it and in a very corny voice it utters, "Get that damn screwdriver out of my head!" It gets me every time.

The zombies bust in and everybody makes a run for it. Billy takes this time to finally convert to a zombie and take a bite out his mom's head. The facial expression on her face in almost priceless. The trusty crew ends up at a doctors house and he decides to join them. They all load up in the doctor's bad ass car and head to the hospital. After some examinations the doctor breaks the news that progressively sicker Joey and Ed were doomed to be zombies. Given the news the group separates into two: Joey, Brenda and Ed in the doomed party and Jesse, Tom, Lucy and the doc in the party that actually intends on living.

The doomed party steals the docs car and drive around until they find a jeep of army guys. Ed finally turns and the army tries to kill him, but the bullets just make him looks very sad and confused. The army guys run in fear and Brenda jumps back in the car with Joey decides to leave. Meanwhile the others, now in a ambulance, observe as zombies devourer a local pet store (another great scene in zombie history). They crash into one of the animal eaters and send him crashing into an electric sign making him the first zombie kill of the entire movie.

Still riding around with his girl, Joey finally turns and Brenda bails and heads for a local church. They argue for a bit about how much he loved her and her brains, while she insisted she wasn't in to dead guy. Finally, she surrenders her brains and the last of the comedic relive characters dies. The other characters at this point are armed with the knowledge of how to kill the undead and are driving around tossing brains out the back of their ambulance, luring all the zombies to the electric company. When they get there, they lock all the zombies out and began throwing the brains in the middle of two generators. After even distributing the brains they turn the power off and throw power cables on the brain and rain (Ha! It rhymed) covered ground.

All seems to be going according to plan when Billy comes from no were and climbs the fence (for some reason children zombies that know how to climb) so he can let the horde in. After some minor complications Jesse is able to make it the the power room and reactive the power, frying all the zombies. There is even a zombie dress like Micheal Jackson from thriller who does a little electrocution dance. Jesse finally kills Billy, who was pursing him to the control room, by kicking him into a downed electric coil. The military finally arrives to clean up stragglers after all the real work is done. The main characters live and trot away happy having stop the zombies. It's also worth mentioning some how the head from the bag has made it up to the power company and is pleading with a solider not to torch her with his flame thrower. After failing and being burnt it ends the movie with this "OK, no more brains, you win... FOR NOW!"

Okay, okay... I know it was more of a summary than a review, but it's impossible for me not to want to tell you everything about the movie when I talk about it (or in this case write). Overall the movies was, at least in my opinion, the best in the series. Why the first was good, the second was a lot funnier and didn't take near as long to get to the action. If you consider yourself a fan of the zombie genre and you haven't seen this film, than you missing out on top notch zombie entertainment. The actors are about what you could expect from an 80s B-movie and the zombies look silly at best, but it all part of the allure of the movie. The fact that the zombies talked introduced comedy to the series and I think it's something other zombie movies could use a little more of. All in all it's not the best zombie movie ever made, but it's a vital part of zombie history and it wouldn't be complete it the movie never existed.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Oct 6th, 2010, 06:35 AM
The first one is pretty hilarious, I wouldn't write it off.
Pickled Patriarch
Oct 6th, 2010, 06:48 AM
I think Nun Eater was referring to parts 2, 3 and 4 when talking about the sequels, not the original Return of the Living Dead, which is indeed awesome. SEND MORE PARAMEDICS.
Forum Virgin
Oct 6th, 2010, 01:57 PM
HA! I just corrupted my fiance with this movie a few weeks ago. And awesome flick that I find to be somewhat better then the original.

Only problem I've ever had with it was the fact that Joey, Brenda and Ed would never shut the hell up.. Specially Ed.. Even as a kid, even though it was funny to see them freak out, I wanted them to hurry up and get eaten asap.

Great review Nun
Oct 6th, 2010, 03:38 PM
I love this movie but the original was the best. "Who's the president?" "Harry Truman."
Cranberry Everything
Oct 6th, 2010, 04:08 PM
An absolute favorite of mine. Nicely done, Nun.
Oct 6th, 2010, 04:21 PM

Ah, so he did. My bad.
the axe and the smasher
Oct 6th, 2010, 11:09 PM
There's four sequels. Who can forget Rave to the grave?
Oct 7th, 2010, 04:35 AM
I actually did forget it, but it is just appalling so I am kinda glad I did.
Oct 7th, 2010, 05:07 AM
I'll agree with the fact that parts 4 and 5 are pretty much write-offs, but aside from the original, part 3 was probably the best. Hot zombie girl and "spine man" zombie FTW!!! Part 2 is what I would consider "ok". It isn't bad by any means, but compared to the superior story of part 1 and the superior special effects and story of part 3 it sort of falls flat.

The best analogy I can give is home alone vs home alone part 2. ROTLD and ROTLD 2 are almost identical movies. (Not to the extent of the home alone franchises of course). I suppose you can hold part 2 in high esteem conisdering it's so similar to part 1, but shouldn't you really condem it for not adding much to the formula?
Oct 7th, 2010, 09:33 AM
This was a good review, but sadly it went on for far too long and had far too many typos for my liking.

Not to mention it wasn't really a review about the movie but an in-depth synopsis of the entire movie plot.
Strange blob from beyond
Oct 7th, 2010, 12:20 PM
And the first one has a killer soundtrack. I have it on vinyl!!
Oct 8th, 2010, 11:58 AM
Return 2 is my favorite of them. ZOOOOOMBIES!

Love the part where the zombie gets the screwdriver to the head.
Sympathizes with the foo'
Oct 8th, 2010, 02:44 PM
"There" refers to a location, "Their" is possessive, and "They're" is a contraction of "They are." Apart from that, nice review.
Pickled Patriarch
Oct 8th, 2010, 04:37 PM
Mister Tea - Wow, you weren't kidding. I just fixed all of Nun Eater's "there" typos. I think I counted about 12 different instances of "there" when "their" should've been used.
Space Cowboy
Oct 9th, 2010, 02:50 AM
Not to mention "it's" means "it is" whereas "its" is possessive. Caught that at least twice in the opening sentence. And "try's" should be "tries"
Oct 9th, 2010, 09:40 PM
Sorry about the typos. I was in a big hurry to finish and get it out before I had to go to work.
The Wolf
Oct 10th, 2010, 10:23 AM
Originally Posted by Ozzie View Post
Not to mention "it's" means "it is" whereas "its" is possessive. Caught that at least twice in the opening sentence. And "try's" should be "tries"
Also, "looses" is used in place of "loses" in the first sentence.
Space Cowboy
Oct 12th, 2010, 05:41 AM
Originally Posted by The Nun Eater View Post
Sorry about the typos. I was in a big hurry to finish and get it out before I had to go to work.
I wasn't trying to criticize, just bring it to RoG's attention since he was already fixing it up. Sorry if I came across as pedantic.
Sympathizes with the foo'
Oct 15th, 2010, 03:09 PM
Yeah, we're just trying to help is all. It's still an enjoyable review of an awesomely goofy flick. My favorite part is the talking zombies; there's just something funny about a monster capable of asking permission before it dines on your skull.