The Return of the Living Dead

Director: Dan O'Bannon
Year Released: 1985
Rating: 2.0

More or less a 'joke' movie that starts off self-consciously parodying the Romero zombie movies before completely borrowing the Romero formula (down to the nihilistic ending where the undead really take over). There are some clever moments - the 'gas' that awakens the dead also rejuvenates dead butterflies and half a dead dog (wouldn't Damien Hirst love to get a hold of that stuff?) - but not enough to get me to look past the silly acting and cheesy puppetry. In terms of guilty pleasures, I prefer Return of the Living Dead Part III (with the adorable Mindy Clarke). [Side note: One of the most fascinating defenses of this I've read is by Seattle's own Kent Beeson, although I'll be damned if I can find it again. Let's just say if they were planning to make a BFI book on this, he should be given some space.]