The Return Of The Living Dead (1985) Review

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The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

Directed by Dan O’Bannon

Starring:
Clu Gulager
James Karen
Don Calfa
Thom Mathews
Beverly Randolph
John Philbin
Jewel Shepard
Miguel A. Núñez Jr
Brian Peck
Linnea Quigley
Mark Venturini
Jonathan Terry
Allan Trautman

Running time: 91 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Return of the Living Dead is a 1985 American black comedy/zombie horror film that tells the story of how three men accompanied by a group of teenage punks deal with the accidental release of a horde of brain hungry zombies onto an unsuspecting town. The film is known for introducing the popular concept of zombies eating brains, as opposed to just eating human flesh, like previous zombie iterations, as well as its soundtrack, which features several noted deathrock and punk rock bands of the era.

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My Opinion:

Confession time: any regulars here will know that my first love when it comes to movies are those from the 70s & 80s and that I’ve seen my fair share from those decades. However, I never saw this one. This is a movie people like THIS GUY and THIS GUY love and one of them will moan at me for not being all like “Oh my god this is the best movie EVER!!!” like he did when I reviewed Night Of The Creeps HERE even though I gave it a positive review. 😉 I’ll probably compare the two movies a bit as they’re a similar genre from the same era & I didn’t see either of them until years later.

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I’m still trying to decide which film I prefer. Overall, I think I liked the story and characters in Night Of The Creeps a bit more but think The Return Of The Living Dead is actually the better movie and script & slightly more my thing as I do love my zombies. As with Night Of The Creeps, however, I won’t ever love it in the same way I might have had I seen it as a young teen and grown up with it.

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So, anyway – the director of this film wrote a few other obscure things such as the Total Recall screenplay and, um… the story for something called… Alien?

In The Return Of The Living Dead, one of the female characters rips her clothes off at the beginning and then runs around fully nude for the ENTIRE movie. I’m sure this made those two guys I mentioned earlier quite happy, especially as horny teenage boys. For an old lady watching this for the first time now, it was a bit of a chuckle at first then got a little tiresome. This is from the guy who created the story that gave us one of the strongest (and probably my favorite) female movie characters of all-time. Lol. No, I’m not being a prude – I just found it kind of funny. (I’ve looked into this as I was curious and he actually wrote them all as generic non-gender-specific characters for Alien so he wasn’t the one who created the final character of Ripley. FYI in case you’re curious too!). Hey – the naked actress in this follows me on Twitter which I think is kind of awesome so I’m not really complaining. 😉 This movie is a laugh and I did have fun with it. Ellen Ripley rules, though! I know which character I’d rather have with me in a zombie apocalypse – she’d be awesome fending off the zombies with her flame thrower.

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Summary:

I’m not being harsh – I enjoyed this movie quite a lot. I got a good few laughs out of it too (“send more paramedics…” lol! that was hilarious!). If anything, my main criticism would be that I felt this was too short and the ending was pretty abrupt. Being a typical horror movie, I’m assuming there may be longer cuts of the film? I’ve not looked into it but this is one case where I actually wanted the movie to go on for longer. So, that’s probably a good sign that I was enjoying it. I liked the “punks” and love how that ties the movie to an era I love but the characters I actually liked the most were all the older men in this. A bit more character development would have been nice but I know this movie is more about the fun, the cheesy gore, and the laughs. Hey, if “black comedy/zombie horror” is your type of genre, you should be watching this if for some odd reason you haven’t seen it. Yes, I think I’d rate this one above Night Of The Creeps. In fact, I think it probably doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves. When you think about it, this was 19 years before Shaun Of The Dead but certainly doesn’t seem to get mentioned as often as that one does.

Actually, I’d really like to watch this one again…

My Rating: 8/10

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**FYI: This movie is waaaaaay better than Life After Beth. THIS is a proper zombie comedy.

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Just One Of The Guys (1985) Review

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Just One Of The Guys (1985)

Directed by Lisa Gottlieb

Starring:
Joyce Hyser
Clayton Rohner
Billy Jacoby
Toni Hudson
Billy Zabka
Sherilyn Fenn

Running time: 90 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Terry (Joyce Hyser) is determined to win a school writing contest to prove that a pretty girl can be capable and intelligent. In order to be taken seriously, she dresses as a boy and tries to blend in at a new school until the contest results are announced.

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My Opinion:

I LOVE 80’s movies. I’ve probably seen 90% of them. Yet this one passed me by… Luckily, Netflix has a decent selection of dodgy 80’s movies. YES! So I finally checked this one out.

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First of all, it opens with the above image (and someone was clearly pervy enough to stick this still online). We then see plenty of the female lead in her underwear and in a bikini before she goes & chops off all her hair to look like a boy. But… She never straps those boobs down. They’re not small! Apparently no one notices them while she’s dressed as a guy.

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This movie has the opportunity to say something about gender stereotypes. Does it? Oh HELL no! Ha! In typical cheesy 80’s-movie-style, we see all male characters acting as sex-obsessed chauvinists. Billy Jacoby, the lead’s brother, is the worst. He spends the entire movie trying to get laid & has naked women all over his walls. I’ve never understood this – I remember walking into various dorm rooms in college and seeing guys who had naked girls plastered all over their walls was SUCH a turn-off! (Little tip there, guys). Anyway, Billy Jacoby was in lots of my teen movies so I was thoroughly confused when I looked this movie up as he’s now apparently called Billy Jayne. (Oh, but he looks pretty good in his current IMDB photo. Hmm…)

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(This is a picture of Jacoby showing his sister how to act like a guy by, um, adjusting her balls properly…)

Are guys all over the world REALLY as horny & pathetic as this movie makes it seem?! I don’t know… I do love how this movie acts like it’s making an important statement on sexism but has the lead parading around in her underwear & flashing her boobs. Gotta love the 80’s! By the way – there are loads of images and gifs of said flashing if you search online – I’m not posting that here! Sorry to disappoint you Eric, Brian, Mike & Seth… 😉

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I’m NOT saying I didn’t enjoy this cheesy & extremely predictable movie, however. As with all 80’s movies I didn’t manage to actually see in my youth, I won’t have a fond affection for this one as I didn’t grow up with it. But I ALWAYS feel a bit warm & fuzzy when watching a movie from the 80’s. I can’t help it! If I had a time machine, I’d totally go back to 1985 (but without a dodgy poodle-perm). Or… Maybe 1975. Anything would be better than these shitty times we live in now!

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I enjoyed this movie in all its 80’s cheesiness. I liked that, in the picture above, the girl was also in the movie April Fool’s Day, which I love more than I should, and the guy was the prick in The Karate Kid. I also loved that someone in this movie (it might have been Sherilyn Fenn’s character) said the lead girl looked like Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid while dressed as a guy (she totally did!).

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Summary:

This movie isn’t “good”. If you’re younger than me and didn’t grow up with 80’s movies, it’s very unlikely that you’ll enjoy this one. This is one of those films that, unfortunately, hasn’t aged well. When you think about it, this came out the same year as Back To The Future but that one can still be watched today and loved by new generations. I’d never ever recommend this movie to a younger generation but, if you’re my sort of age and missed out on seeing this one back in the 80’s, I think you’d enjoy it just fine.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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D.A.R.Y.L. (1985) Review for MovieRob’s Childhood Flashback Movie Challenge

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I’ve done a review for MovieRob’s Childhood Flashback Movie Challenge, where he’s asked fellow bloggers to re-watch an old childhood favorite of theirs & see if their opinions have changed now that they’re all grown-up. (Or old. I don’t know if I’m all grown-up. Just old!). So I re-visited D.A.R.Y.L. (God that’s a pain in the ass to type). I loved this movie as a kid (and thought Daryl, played by Barret Oliver, was a cutie pie!). Read my review HERE to see if I still enjoyed its total 1985ness. 🙂

And be sure to check out MovieRob’s blog HERE for lots (and lots!) of great movie reviews. He’s a true movie lover – I don’t think there’s a film he hasn’t seen! 🙂

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Cutie Pie!