Another barrel of chemicals that can return the dead to life is found by some kids. Poking around it proves deadly as the gas is released and the dead rise once more.
Written and Directed by – Ken Wiederhorn
Starring – Michael Kenworthy, Thor Van Lingen, Jason Hogan, James Karen, Thom Mathews, Suzanne Snyder, Marsha Dietlein, Hanala Stadner, Jonathan Terry, Dana Ashbrook, Sally Smythe, Allan Trautman, Don Maxwell, Philip Bruns, Mitch Pileggi, Art Bonilla, Terrence Riggins
Well, it’s been a great long weekend so far, even if I didn’t get much movie watching done. Since it’s Monday and the long weekend is pretty much over, I figured it was time to get back to my reviews. I don’t think there could be a more fitting flick to review for a long weekend. Most of us drank until we were zombies and the movie is about zombies. We didn’t try to eat anyone else but I think I was hungry enough to do that yesterday! Return of the Living Dead Part 2 is pretty much Part 1 all over again. They change the setting and the characters, although both James Karen and Thom Mathews are back, but the general plot is very similar.
Here, the military loses some of the chemical canisters while transporting them and a couple of kids find one by a creek. Once again the tank is opened and two of the kids get blasted in the face with the gas. That’s the same fate that the two characters in the first part had, except it’s two small kids this time around. Now, James Karen and Thom Mathews played the two guys who opened the canister in the first film. In part 2 they’re both back as new characters, guys who are stealing body parts from the local cemetary when the gas makes its appearance. Again they wind up inhaling the gas and spend the movie slowly turning into zombies. It leads to one of the funniest moments of the movie when Thom Mathews explains that he feels like this has happened before. It’s nice to see them make fun of themselves.
To me, the humour is almost the downfall of the movie. The first one had its share of funny moments but this one is packed too full. It’s not like the first flick was serious or anything but here the humour is so much more prominent and the scares are left behind. The zombies still look pretty good but still don’t top the first flick. There’s another talking zombie, much like the first one, but it’s only a head now which was a little disappointing. Not to mention that it starts cracking one liners and manages to get the last zing of the movie in.
Don’t get me wrong, this is still a great flick. The zombies are still impressive, the cast is great and the action is plentiful. I don’t think there was as much gore as the first one though and there was less brain munching. One of the best parts of the flick is Philip Bruns as Doc Mandel. He’s hilarious in the movie as the hard drinking doctor that can’t find a drink. Almost oblivious to the zombie plague around him, he’s more concerned about what happens to his vintage car than to his fellow survivors.
Part 2 may top the first part for humour but it’s not as good a film in the end. The characters aren’t as memorable, the setting isn’t as much fun or claustrophobic and the zombies aren’t quite as cool. This one is much more of a silly good time though and provides enough entertainment for you zombie lovers out there. From what I can remember it’s all downhill from here with part 3 not being as good as the second. I may just wind up watching parts 4 and 5 but those ones were not really good at all. Since it’s been a little bit since I’ve seen them though, I may have to give them a second chance at life, much like the zombies that populate this film series!
Under the marquee – Will