Time to expand on my new Return of the Living Dead hypothesis. I think it’s kind of anti-Star Trek. The theory goes with Star Trek that only the even numbered ones are any good (I heartily dispute this regarding part 4: Save the Whales), and Return of the Living Dead is the opposite. So far, 1 is gold, 2 is garbage, 3 is Silver, 4 is utter garbage. So presumably, following on, 5 (Rave to the Grave) will also therefore win a medal of some description, possibly a bronze. Well, no, it’s not that good. However it did at least make the final and hasn’t embarrassed itself in any way. For a start, it does actually resemble a Return of the Living Dead film, and while I hate the central character Julian (John Keefe from Part 4) the presence of gore, comedy and nudity automatically raise it above the quite filthy depths that Necropolis had sunk the series to.
This is a Return of the Living Dead film, so nudity, gore, laughs and Spoilers lurk below. Read More…
So, for those that aren’t familiar with this, one of Jarv’s golden rules of cinema is that if there’s a large gap between a sequel and it’s predecessor then 99 times out of 100 it will be awful. Examples range across the different genres, including The Godfather Part 3, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and so forth. The reason being is that if someone chooses to exhume a long-buried franchise, then chances are it’s motivated entirely by money and a hope to cash in on some hazy name recognition. There are films that break this rule, notably Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but that’s countered by Burton’s stinking remake, and who can ever forget the Star Wars Prequel atrocities? Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis (they dropped the 4 for release) has further handicaps to overcome, not least of which is that it’s a Sci-Fi Channel film, and was shot back-to-back with its vastly superior sequel in Eastern Europe. It’s no surprise for me to tell you up front that this one ain’t a winner.
Contains crap zombie babies and spoilers below. Read More…
BRAAAAAAIIIIIINNNNNSSSS!!! The Return of the Living Dead Series. Part 1: Jarv looks back at Return of the Living Dead 1-3.
Next up on my quest through horror movie series is the incomparable Return of the Living Dead. The original Return of the Living Dead (here on referred to as ROTLD)was one of my first Vault reviews from way back in the Summer of 2009, and to be honest, it doesn’t read anywhere near as well now as I thought it did. I followed this with ROTLD 2 in November 2009, and again, it’s not my most sophisticated piece of criticism ever. I finally took on ROTLD 3 last year, as part of my quest to watch every Brian Yuzna film ever made, and the review is a bit better. But what is Return of the Living Dead, I hear you ask?
I don’t know what’s happening to me, I’m not alive, I’m not dead, I’m just so lonely.
Jarv’s Rating: Two and a half Changs out of four. This film is unfairly maligned. There are serious problems to it, and tonally it’s way off, but overall this is a solid zombie movie with a fucking spectacular central monster. Seriously spectacular, actually.
My apologies for this run of incessant schlock. Ordinarily, I do try to mix it up a wee bit, but I’m on a quest to 100% both Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna films before I come to the hideous Birthday Series. I say hideous, because I watched 3 minutes of Xanadu earlier and aside from being horrified that it had Gene Kelly in it, I was forced to turn it off. In the meantime, in order to prepare myself for the forthcoming awfulness, I’m stocking up on my Schlock reserves so I’ve got fun films to think about while my brain is melting.