Review: More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead (DVD)

CAV & Michael Perez Entertainment crack open a barrel of Trioxin to give us the ultimate retrospective of the greatest horror zombie comedy ever made, Return of the Living Dead!

  • Director: Bill Philputt
  • Starring: Linnea Quigley, Thom Mathews, Miguel Nunez
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 119 Minutes
  • Company: CAV
  • Format: DVD
  • Discs: 1
  • Video: 1.78:1 - 16:9 - Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Audio: English 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • Region: 0 - NTSC
  • Released: 10/18/2011

Simply put, Return of the Living Dead is one of my favorite tongue-in-cheek horror films. Ever. It's a perfect mash of genres mixed with the rebel attitude of the 80's and an aggressive punk soundtrack that makes you want to chew someones face off. Genre veteran writer/director Dan O'Bannon & co. single-handedly reinvented the mythology of zombies and forever changed future films of the like. Rightfully so, Return of the Living Dead has achieved cult status since it's premiere 26 years ago and will forever be remembered as a classic in the horror film pantheon. Have you ever wanted a peek behind the scenes though? A true inside look at meat and bones of the films production? More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead rises from the grave with a definitive look at the 1985 undead horror-comedy masterpiece.
In this digital disc age, in most cases, we're absolutely spoiled by supplemental material. Bonus Features range from deleted scenes, archive footage, commentary track to full blown documentaries. A good majority of cult video releases nowadays have thoroughly in-depth & informative produced featurettes that rival & surpass studio EPKs. It's now become a necessity for a catalog or new release title to pack some sort of behind the scenes interview unearthing stories we otherwise never would have known about the production. A recent string of self produced documentaries based around cult horror film franchises (Never Sleep Again, Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, Psycho Legacy) have been released to much acclaim from fans and critics. More Brains! is such a doc that die hard horror-heads and curious newcomers alike will adore.
More Brains! two hour runtime chooses to solely focus on Return of the Living Dead and not the quartet of sequels that followed. If you think this doc is a waste of time and you know everything there is to know about ROTLD, you are sorely mistaken. The wealth of information about the films pre-production beginnings, filming, post & right up to the premiere is simply staggering. Just about everyone involved with the making of Return of the Living Dead, in front and behind the camera, is along for the ride. We get a charming narration from Brian "Scuz" Peck, guiding us through the abundance of interviews from many participants. Such as Thom "Freddy" Mathews, Clu "Burt" Gulager, James "Frank" Karen, Beverly "Tina" Randolph, Miguel "Spider" Nunez, Linnea "Trash" Quigley and much, much more.
Stories range from the origins of Return of the Living Dead, which came from Night of the Living Dead co-creator John Russo's forgotten novel. To nasty on set disputes between actors, director and production crew. I don't want to spoil anything but absolutely want to affirm that by the end, not only will you be a ROTLD'll further appreciate the legacy the film has/will leave behind. The two hour runtime breezes by with stories and anecdotes that are greatly informative, genuine and completely definitive. More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead excels in what it set out to do and truly is made by fans, for fans.

    • Video
    This digitally shot doc looks mighty fine throughout it's 2 hour duration. Vintage clips & ROTLD footage they use look a bit rough but in no way detracts the feature. Cut effects & comic book style transitions look sharp and smooth. Viewers should be satisfied with the productions efforts!
    • Audio
    A Dolby Digital 2.0 mix is included and offers up a clear & serviceable track. Dialogue is clear and no distortion/error's were heard during my viewing.

    Bonus Features
    • Featurette - "They Won't Stay Dead: A Look at ROTLD II"
    A couple ROTLD alums talk not too fondly of this ill advised sequel.
    • Featurette - "Love Beyond the Grave: A Look at ROTLD 3"
    Director Brian Yuzna (Society, SNDN 4) and several other players involved with the production of ROTLD 3 discuss the second sequel. All seem to have loved working on it and have some great stories of it's production. One including a homeless man playing a zombie who's junk kept slipping out!
    • Interview - "A Conversation with Dan O'Bannon: The Final Interview"
    Filmed shortly before genre veteran Dan O'Bannon's untimely death, this 30 minute sit down is genuine, insightful and very candid. O'Bannon is proud of ROTLD and has some amazing stories to tell of it's production & his career.
    • Documentary Deleted Scenes
    14 short but sweet deleted scenes are included from the main doc.
    • Music Video - "Stacey Q Live! - Tonight"
    Stacey Q sings her classic zombie inspired song.
    • Featurette - "Resurrected Settings: The Filming Locations Today"
    Beverly "Tina" Randolph & Brian "Scuz" Peck revisit key filming locations from the film. All of the buildings/surronding areas have been renovated in some way but bare similarities that you'll definitely remember.
    • Featurette - "ROTLD in 3 Minutes"
    The main ROTLD actors recite their most famous lines, as the title implies, in 3 minutes.
    • Trailers
    Rounding out the disc are trailers for Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy and More Brains: A Return to the Living Dead