Who doesn't love zombies? Well, aside from the people who they are actively chasing. George Romero's iconic zombie apocalypse films are some of the admired films in horror, but where's the love for “The Return of the Living Dead”? On the 39th anniversary of the tragic event in Louisville, Kentucky, let's remember those who gave their lives (and brains) for our entertainment.

  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

    Image Caption: IMDB

    "The Return of the Living Dead" started everything off with a bang. Sorry. It features everyday working men, punk rockers, Army officers, and many first responders. Written and directed by Dan O'Bannon, it stars Clu Gulager, James Karen, and Don Calfa and has stunning performances from Linnea Quigley as Trash and Allan Trautman as Tarman.

  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

    Image Credit: IMDB

    The source of the zombie plague has to come from somewhere. None of this horror would have happened if it wasn't for two curious but not very bright men working on the site where the last zombies captured in the original outbreak were stored. Why anyone wants to keep zombies isn't exactly clear, but the movie does have a very defined reason for how the zombies came to be and where they came from. No mystery here

  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

    Image Credit: IMDB

    Punk rock! One of the advantages of the script written by Dan O'Bannon, from a story by John A Russo, Russell Streiner, and Rudy Ricci, is that since there are punks in the cast, it allows the film's soundtrack to use many songs from great punk artists. 45 Grave, a cult band from Los Angeles, is probably best known for the central theme, "Partytime (Zombie Version)," which perfectly accompanies the film's spirit. But fantastic songs like "Burn the Flames" by Roky Erickson, "Tonight (We'll Make Love Until We Die)," and "Trash's Theme" by SSQ, "Dead Beat Dance" by The Damned, and the creepily ecstatic "Surfin' Dead" by The Cramps means that the soundtrack is incredible.

  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

    Image Credit: IMDB

    There's a graveyard outside the industrial building where the zombies were stored. Not only do punks like to hang out in cemeteries, it means that a lot of graves are nearby for that moment when the Trioxin gas gets released into the atmosphere. Realism and a handy source of new zombies all in one fell swoop. Good call.

  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

    Image Credit: IMDB

    Not only is there a graveyard, but there's also a mortuary right next to the storage facility: perfect placement and a brilliant idea. The mortuary especially comes in handy when the heroes unwisely choose to cremate one of the seemingly unkillable zombies. Oo, bad idea.

  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

    Image Credit: IMDB

    The cast is another significant asset to this film. Everyone in the cast is entirely game and working hard. "The Return of the Living Dead" is a horror comedy, and comedy calls for actors who are willing to go all the way. One reason that the original "Evil Dead" films work so well is because of the dedication of Bruce Campbell as a performer. The actors in The Return of the Living Dead go for it and play it straight, so the comedy works while you still feel for the people in this horrifying situation.

  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

    Image Caption: IMDB

    "The Return of the Living Dead" actually had memes before memes were invented. Zombie catchphrases like "more brains!" and "send more ambulance drivers" were not only hilarious comedy bits, but they were so catchy that horror fans have been reciting them to each other and referencing them for decades. The idea that zombies want to eat brains overtook the mythology of Romero's zombie universe. Even people who have never seen the film probably recognize those quotes.

  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

    Image Credit: IMDB

    James Karen, who plays Frank, and Thom Mathews, who plays Freddy, give sympathetic performances which go a long way toward getting the audience more involved with the story and characters. As you watch them get sicker and sicker, you feel for them, and then when Freddy turns into a brain-demanding zombie, it creates another level of horror.

  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

    Image Credit: IMDB

    There are a few morals that you could take from "The Return of the Living Dead." One is that when you see some barrels with creepy stuff in them, you may leave them alone and report it to whoever is in charge or alternately that maybe it is time to get another job. Another is that just because you see a monster-killing method in a movie doesn't mean it will work in real life. The third is that you should be a little wary of the government. The error that sent the zombie-filled barrels to this unsafe storage facility came from the government, whose solution was to start firing nuclear weapons. Food for thought that might help you keep your brains in your head.

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