Review: ‘Return of the Living Dead Part II’

Billed as a comedy/horror flick, Return of the Living Dead Part II is neither scary nor funny and adds salt in the wound with an obnoxious soundtrack of grating rock music.

Billed as a comedy/horror flick, Return of the Living Dead Part II is neither scary nor funny and adds salt in the wound with an obnoxious soundtrack of grating rock music.

This time a canister falls off an army truck and three kids – including Jesse Wilson (Michael Kenworthy) – discover it. Curiosity leads Jesse’s two friends to fool around with a few buttons and suddenly a weird fog spews from the container, awakening a ghoul who is packed inside as neatly as tuna fish.

As the fog spreads, it is a call to arms for the occupants of a cemetery, unleashing a throng of decaying cadavers. The balance of the film is a prolonged chase scene as these creatures pursue Jesse, Lucy (Marsha Dietlein), Tom (Dana Ashbrook) and Doc (Philip Bruns) through the streets of a small town.

The overall effects of Living Dead is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek but turns out to be foot in mouth as dialogue seems aimed at four-year-olds. The only saving grace in a totally misguided effort is the performance of character actor Bruns who is quite funny as the slightly off-the-wall doctor.

Return of the Living Dead Part II

Production

Greenfox/Lorimar. Director Ken Weiderhorn; Producer Tom Fox; Screenplay Ken Weiderhorn; Camera Robert Elswit; Editor Charles Bornstein; Music J. Peter Robinson

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

James Karen Thom Mathews Michael Kenworthy Marsha Dietlein Dana Ashbrook Philip Bruns
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