I never expected the follow up to the way kool “Return Of The Living
Dead” to be as good as the original, but I didn’t see this cinematic
shit sandwich coming. Who approved this script? The Zucker Brothers?
tepid sequel fails every “Arrow” horror test in the book. First off,
it slaps in a freakin' annoying, precocious, smart-assed brat as the lead.
When will they learn that kids in horror films don’t work unless
you’re willing to kill them off! Since 90 percent of genre flicks out
there don’t believe in off-ing kids, I didn’t feel an ounce of tension
with respect to this pint-sized smart aleck. I knew he would always prevail!
Kind of defeats the purpose. The film also slaps two more kids in there
for good measure. Thanks! Is this a horror film or a freakin' kindergarten? Test #1…FAILED!
original did a great job at balancing laughs and scares. That’s because
its humor was circumstantial and had a mean streak to it which didn’t
upset the balance of the film. This sequel goes the total opposite way and
resorts to “baby level” sight gags in a pathetic attempt to extract a
few chuckles out of us. It didn’t work on my pointy ass. The massive
cemetery resurrection sequence, for example, made me want to hurl like a
crack whore in need of a fix. It’s filled with zombie pratfalls,
zombies yawning, zombies stepping on other zombies' hands…WTF is going
on here? Is this “Sesame Street” or a horror film? Even a zombie
“Michael Jackson” eventually makes an appearance (a nod to
“Thriller”)! NOT FUNNY! I wanted to hit the stop button right there. I
guess that’s what happens when you put the director of “Meatballs 2”
at the helm of a horror movie Test #2…FAILED!
only thing that kept me watching was the presence of the kool Thom Mathews
(Joey) and the funny James Karen (Ed). They made a great comic duo in the
original and here, they play different characters but with the same tight
chemistry they previously showcased. Their return offers us a few sly
references to the first film and Karen, in particular, is hilarious.
overall, "Return Of The Living Dead 2" is a huge letdown, especially compared
to the groovy first installment. Everything the original succeeded in doing, this
one fails at and then some. To add insult to injury, the Zombies aren’t
scary (they look like "Muppet Show" rejects), the film has its share of plot
holes (you're trying to tell me that Joey’s girl waited in the car for all
that time…what a dumb broad!) and the method used to defeat the un-dead
in the end is just flat out idiotic. No edge, no scares, just a lot of
failed “yuck yuck” jokes. This one should’ve stayed dead.