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Friday, October 14, 2016

RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - More Tarman Than a Laramie Cigarette Truck!


RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD

Here is one of my go-to October movies. It's actually just a go-to Horror movie in general. It's perfect for any mood. Need gore? Check. Skin? Check. Humor? Check. One-liners that are unforgettable and intrinsic to the zombie and Horror movie history? Check? James Karen? Klu Gulagar? Thom Matthews?  Linnea Quigley? The effects are perfectly 80's and perfectly practical. The performances are tongue and cheek and more tongue again. Return of the Living Dead is chicken soup for the Horror movie lover's soul. All the cliches we say about loving Horror movies can be said about ROTLD. For those reasons, you should buy this release, enjoy this release and put it on your mantel as a time honored tradition as if it were a family heirloom. That's what I would tell you without going into the juicy bits about this release. This shouldn't be a secret to you, but Scream Factory gave us a full loaded casket of a release with new and classic artwork, extras that fill up the Uneeda Medical Supply co and a full release of the movie with original soundtrack (with one omission due to rights issues). Let's dig in a bit.

Scream Factory has been doing these crazy release packages as of late. Two different slip covers, posters and of course the feature itself. I happened to pick this one up because I love all the new artwork, but the release you'll be purchasing now will only have two artwork options, the new artwork on the front done by our man Graham Humphreys and the original artwork (or one version I should say). There are two discs filled to the brim. The transfer is just great, and I saw no issue that would detract from the release. I own several versions of the movie from both the US and UK. I believe all to be competent, but this looked damn good and would make a nice upgrade for a quality junkie.

FOUR commentaries people! With as many times as I watch this movie per year, a little variety is always helpful. Not enough? Work print. That's right. Work print. It's what you have before the movie has all the flash and finish and solid edits made to the movie that make it look like a movie. It's low quality. It's raw. It's a different way to watch the movie, though I'm not sure if you'll find the experience wholly enjoyable. Of course if that's not doing it for you, you can always use the zombie subtitle feature. I mean... not many releases have that. It's important to note that some of these features will have been available on previous releases (depending on which release you previously enjoyed). There are clearly two new commentaries not previously available on any other version.

Of course there are TV spots, trailers, galleries... that's stuff seems hardly worth mentioning on a release except that with a movie of this popularity there's just a lot of material to enjoy.

There's a music featurette which of course is damn important given the popularity of the soundtrack and the issues that have plagued previous releases of the film regarding the soundtrack specifically. There are slight modifications to the soundtrack in the usage of music. As noted below by Scream Factory, "Dead Beat Dance" by The Damned could not be included due to rights issues. You'd think this is a problem, but quite honestly, it's not like the song goes unreplaced in the movie and the replacement song is damn good! Need to hear it badly? Listen here:


The song that replaces it in the movie is "Young, Fast Iranians" by The Straw Dogs and is just good solid punk.


See! Mikey likes it! Let's move on. Yes you can find a release, outside of the US that would have the original track restored, but it honestly is lacking the rest of this package. Hell, get em both. I did. Like I said before, this is a movie to be cherished, collected. Various editions of the release only seek to cement its legacy and our love for it further.

Then there are ALL the interviews... all the effects featurettes... and a little documentary called MORE BRAINS! That's a full lengthy doc that goes on FOREVER and will make you an expert on the film. I cannot tell you how happy I am that Horror's Hallowed Grounds is included that spotlights filming locations as they appear now as hosted by Sean Clarke! Big fan of his and the show.

Are you excited to own another copy of Return of the Living Dead? You should be. Make sure to get the Trioxin slurries out and forget those James Karen Pathmark commercials. Watching this movie is not a costume. It's a way of life. Scream Factory nails it!

Available to order from Scream Factory and DiabolikDVD.

From Scream Factory:

On his first day on the job at a medical supply warehouse, poor Freddy (Thom Mathews) unwittingly releases toxic gas from a secret U.S. military canister, unleashing an unbelievable terror. The gas reanimates an army of corpses, who arise from their graves with a ravenous hunger... for human brains! And luckily for those carnivorous cadavers, there is a group of partying teens nearby, just waiting to be eaten!

Bonus Features

DISC 1:

NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
NEW Audio Commentary With Gary Smart (Co-author Of The Complete History Of The Return Of The Living Dead) And Chris Griffiths
 NEW Audio Commentary With Actors Thom Mathews, John Philbin And Make-up Effects Artist Tony Gardner
Audio Commentary With Director Dan O'Bannon And Production Designer William Stout
Audio Commentary With The Cast And Crew Featuring Production Designer William Stout And Actors Don Calfa, Linnea Quigley, Brian Peck, Beverly Randolph, Allan Trautman
The Decade Of Darkness – Featurette On '80s Horror Films (23 minutes)
Theatrical Trailers
TV Spots
Still Gallery – Posters, Lobby Cards, Movie Stills And Behind-The-Scenes Photos
Still Gallery – Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Special Make-up Effects Artist Kenny Myers' Personal Collection
Zombie Subtitles For The Film
In Their Own Words – The Zombies Speak
DISC 2:

NEW The FX Of The Living Dead With Production Designer William Stout, FX Make-up Artists William Munns, Tony Gardner, Kenny Myers And Craig Caton-Largnet, Visual Effects Artists Bret Mixon And Gene Warren Jr. And Actor Brian Peck (Expanded Version) (30 minutes)
NEW Party Time: The Music Of The Return Of The Living Dead With Music Consultants Budd Carr And Steve Pross And Soundtrack Artists Dinah Cancer (45 Grave), Chris D (The Flesh Eaters), Roky Erickson, Karl Moet (SSQ), Joe Wood (T.S.O.L.), Mark Robertson (Tall Boys) Plus Musicians Greg Hetson (Circle Jerks) And John Sox (The F.U.'s, Straw Dogs) (Expanded Version) (30 minutes)
NEW HORROR'S HALLOWED GROUNDS – Revisiting The Locations Of The Film
The Return Of The Living Dead Workprint – Includes 20 minutes Of Additional Footage (In Standard Definition)
More Brains: A Return To The Living Dead – The Definitive Documentary On The Return Of The Living Dead (120 minutes)
A Conversation With Dan O'Bannon – His Final Interview (28 minutes)
The Origins Of The Living Dead – An Interview With John A. Russo (16 minutes)
The Return Of The Living Dead – The Dead Have Risen – Interviews With Cast Members Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Brian Peck, Thom Mathews, Beverly Randolph, Linnea Quigley And More… (21 minutes)
Designing The Dead – Interviews With Writer/Director Dan O'Bannon And Production Designer William Stout (15 minutes)

Product Note
For our new transfer, we went back to the original audio tracks to create a new soundtrack. Unfortunately, one song – “Dead Beat Dance” by The Damned – could not be cleared for inclusion on our release. However, the rest of the soundtrack will contain the audio as heard during the film’s original theatrical run.

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