The Return of the Living Dead (article co-created by Erica Demoss)


This article concept was another winner from my Instagram contest.  This one is from Erica Demoss (xswitchbladeromancex).

The Return of the Living Dead was an American black comedy/horror brought to us in 1985 written and directed by Dan O’Bannon.  It starred Clu Gulager as Burt Wilson, James Karen as Frank, Don Calfa as Ernie Kaltenbrunner, and Thom Mathews as Freddy.

The Return of the Living Dead showcases a foreman named Frank at a medical supply warehouse in Louisville, Kentucky trying to impress a new employee named Freddy.  While doing so, Frank knocks over some drums containing a botched military experiment (the experiment was used as the cause of the zombie outbreak in Night of the Living Dead).  Frank and Freddy fail to kill a zombie in the warehouse thus causing a nightmare.

The Return of the Living Dead was based off of a novel by author John Russo by the same name.  This film also introduced the concept of zombies that do not want human flesh, but their brains.

After 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, Russo and Romero went their separate ways and Russo retained the rights to anything containing “Living Dead“.  The Return of the Living Dead was set to be released in 3D and was to be directed by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘s director, Tobe Hooper.  Hooper backed out to do another film, so Dan O’Bannon stepped up and directed.  There was a budget of $4 million to create this film.

There was no CGI used in the film.  Puppets and makeup are responsible for the iconic images we all know and love from The Return of The Living Dead.


The film was set in Louisville, Kentucky, but it was filmed in California.  The scene at Col. Glover’s house was filmed in Palos Verdes Peninsula, California.  There is a lot of confusion about the location of the Resurrection Cemetery.  It was filmed in Sylmar, Los Angeles, California, but is was not actually filmed at Sylmar Cemetery.  All of the tombstones and Spanish moss were props.  The exterior was actually a fake wall constructed in front of railroad tracks and the Olive Grove in Sylmar was used as the  interior.  The Olive Grove is currently not open to the public because of some land contract issues.

The Return of the Living Dead went on to spawn 4 sequels and a cult like following.


*Thank you to Erica Demoss for the awesome idea for this article!*

2 thoughts on “The Return of the Living Dead (article co-created by Erica Demoss)”

  1. Fantastic article!! So great girl! I love this movis so much and it never gets the credit its due its nice to see it being written about!!

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