Return of the Living Dead Part II Blu-ray Review (Scream Factory)

Return of the Living Dead Part II adds way too much slapstick for my pointless tastes, but the Blu-ray from Scream Factory is to die for, and then rise back up and buy.
Fantastic selection of special features
Too much slapstick humour.

When I initially watched the original The Return of the Living Dead, I didn’t like it. I suppose I wasn’t prepared for the humorous way of telling the zombie story. However, when Scream Factory released it on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray, I gave it another chance and ended up enjoying it. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for its sequel, Return of the Living Dead Part II.

It’s odd, though, as I grew up watching ROTLDII on TV way more than I ever did the first film and I remember my younger self enjoying the film. I suppose my younger self was okay with the over the top slapstick humour that was jammed into the movie, and the annoying screaming characters that won’t shut up for the first hour of the flick. My younger self was never a bright one.

I’m sure I don’t need to go into detail about what the flick is about, but I’ll lightly graze the premise. Years after the incident in the first ROTLD, those pesky toxic barrels are being transported through a town, and one nasty pothole later, we have a barrel rolling down into the river and getting caught it a drainage tunnel. It isn’t long before some kids find it and release deadly gas and another version of The Tarman zombie, a look that even the creator of the special effects hates. As the gas spreads to the cemetery, all sorts of zombies rise and begin feasting on the few people that are around. Also, Thom Matthews and James Karen from the first flick are back as different characters, who once again are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As I mentioned already, ROTLDII decides to amp up the slapstick to such an over the top level that it pushes out any horror elements, leaving you with a flick that seems like it’s a parody of its predecessor. Thankfully, it isn’t all terrible, as there is plenty of fun stuff to be eaten, oops, I mean seen. The makeup effects for the zombies are well done, with one split-in-half zombie that steals the show. It is easy to see that there are only a few actors playing multiple zombie roles, but the numerous background zombies aren’t poorly put together, which is something you don’t usually see in a lower budget horror film. Also, I can’t be the only person that doesn’t get aroused during the brain-chomping scene that takes place in a church. Right? Right? Anyone?

I may not enjoy Return of the Living Dead Part II like I used to, but I know lots of people out there that do, and Scream Factory has released a Blu-ray just for you. First off we have a new 2K scan from the Interpositive, and I don’t think I’m wrong in saying this film has never looked better. It also has never sounded better as Scream Factory has corrected any soundtrack issues that were present on the original DVD release. I could waste more of your time listing what is included, but why bother when I can paste what the Blu has below. Seriously, you’re going to be a while with this one!

Bonus Features

  • NEW 2K Scan From The Interpositive
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Actress Suzanne Snyder
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Gary Smart (Co-author Of The Complete History Of The Return Of The Living Dead) And Filmmaker Christopher Griffiths
  • NEW Back To The Dead: The Effects Of “Return Of The Living Dead Part II” – Including Interviews With Special Make-up Effects Creator Kenny Myers And Special Make-up Effects Artists Andy Schoneberg And Mike Smithson
  • NEW The Laughing Dead – An Interview With Writer/Director Ken Wiederhorn
  • NEW Undead Melodies – An Interview With Composer J. Peter Robinson
  • NEW Interview With Actor Troy Fromin
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Ken Wiederhorn And Co-star Thor Van Lingen
  • They Won’t Stay Dead: A Look At Return Of The Living Dead Part II Including Interviews With James Karen, Thom Matthews, Brian Peck, Kenny Myers, Susan Snyder, Michael Kenworthy, And More…
  • Archival Featurette – Live From The Set
  • Archival Interviews With Ken Wiederhorn, James Karen, Thom Matthews, And Kenny Myers
  • Behind-the-scenes Footage
  • Theatrical Trailer And Teaser Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery Of Posters And Stills
  • Still Gallery Of Behind-the-scenes Stills From Makeup Effects Artists Kenny Myers And Mike Smithson
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