To start this year’s horror/monster-fest, I chose 1985’s RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. This was a VHS rental mainstay for me back in the day, a horror/comedy. I feel like it’s a great representation of the kind of movie I simply love around this time of year. It’s colorful and quirky, both fun and creepy. It’s a goth/punk/surf movie, but the tidal waves are waves of the dead.
This movie is a follow-up to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, but it sets up an alternate timeline from DAWN OF THE DEAD and DAY OF THE DEAD. It defines the zombie as a “brain-eater” rather than a simple cannibal. It also firmly places rotting tongue in rotting cheek and embraces the humor and absurdity of the zombie apocalypse. The “heroes” of this tale are goofy and dumb, reacting in the absolute worst possible way to every nightmarish situation. In short, it’s a pretty accurate representation of how quickly we’d speed on our way to oblivion.
While it is a humorous movie, the living dead here are pretty scary when you think about it. They’re fast. They’re smart. They’re determined to get what they want. And almost nothing stops them. As their numbers swell, the situation gets steadily worse and worse.
And, of course, there’s Trash, who steals the show throughout, both while alive and while dead.
The soundtrack here deserves a nod, because it is freaking amazing. I used to have a cassette which played in my car on repeat.
The pairing on this one is simple. If you like zombie stories with gore, scares, and humor, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEADPOOL is the book for you. In that book, Deadpool wakes from an epic food coma to find that the zombie apocalypse has occurred. Of all the Deadpool books I wrote, this one is my favorite.