Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Linnea Quigley Week: The Return of the Living Dead

Good day and welcome to Day 3 of Linnea Quigley Week and yes you have all been waiting for this particular movie. I have managed to avoid it rather well in spite of all the zombie genre I have been subjected to in the last 4 years but... I knew this day would come. With it being Linnea Quigley's breakout role into the realms of Horror and Sci-fi, it had to happen. What say we sit through a black comedy/horror thanks to writer John Russo (Night of the Living Dead, The Booby Hatch, Midnight and Voodoo Dawn) and director Dan O' Bannon (Blood Bath, The Return of the Living Dead and Shatterbrain) bringing us a pop culture cliche of the sentence, "BRAAAAAINS!" This is The Return of the Living Dead.

Youth splayed!


Our story opens in Louisville Kentucky via medical supplies depot with our lead foreman Frank (James Karen of All My Children, Wall Street, Mulholland Drive and The Pursuit of Happyness) is breaking in his new employee Freddy (Thom Mathews of Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI, Return of the Living Dead II, Bloodmatch, Mean Guns and Sorcerers) as Freddy accidently breaks up a pressured cannister chamber with a dead man and unknown substance from a barrel reanimates the corpse. Luring it into the meat locker they try to get ahold of the boss Burt (Clu Gulager of The Tall Man, The Virginian, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, Teen Vamp and Killing Device) and the three of them get the idea to kill the brain. You know, like that zombie movie Night of the Living Dead... wink.

Grr... Moving right along let's get down with the street gang that knows Freddy. This highly believable collection of punks are threatening food courts galore but need a place to hang and party. Naturally the abandoned cemetery is an excellent start. Our punks Trash (Linnea Quigley of Creepozoids, Night of the Demons, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings, Hollywood Cops and Death Mask), Spider (Miguel A Nunez Jr of Friday the 13th Part IV: A New Chapter, Street Fighter, Carnosaur 2, The Faculty and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate) Scuz (Brian Peck of Like Father Like Son, Return of the Living Dead II, Growing Pains, Angel 4: Undercover and Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest) Chuck (John Philbin of Children of the Corn, The Return of the Living Dead, Point Break and Tombstone) and Casey (Jewel Shepard of The Return of the Living Dead, Hollywood Hot Tubs 2: Educating Crystal and Caged Heat II: Stripped of Freedom) are all gallivanting it up in the cemetery and night did not simply fall as it crashed.


Our three collective heads of knuckle get the bright idea to burn the chemically saturated body at the crematorium which releases the toxic gas into the air causing an acid rain right next to the cemetery. Betcha you can't guess what side effects it has???

Our punks get coated in the acid rain and attacked by zombies in search of... yup brains. Trash is snared in the mud by several zombies as they start to munch on her shapely body. Gosh, minutes ago she was stating the worst way to die was being feasted upon by really old guys. Hmm, coincidence? Our punks team up with Burt's crew as the night of horrors swings into high gear. Police responding to calls in the neighborhood get overthrown by the zombies and added to the collective. Can anything be done? Will the military intercede? What is the secret of the Yeti??

A few comments about the flick now.

To avoid the X-rating of Quigley buck bare in the cemetery, O'Bannon adamant about how that will not go over well with a TV version they sent her to be shaved bare. Deemed even worse the costume department gave her a g-string with almost bozo colored fur. Yes genitals was the issue apparently. No naughty bits!!

With the satirical take on Romero's Dead movies and a budget of 4 million, our film managed to gross $14,237,000 dollars. A ten million dollar profit on a schlock horror film is not unheard of.

Some of the zombie extras were paid more for to eat real calf brains. O' Bannon didn't want the actors to do anything his wasn't prepared to do and ate some raw calf brains in front of them. Dedicated or disgusting, the guy sticks to his guns.

Okay so which one of us will be bait... Guys???