Return Of The Living Dead: Part II

Return Of The Living Dead: Part II (1987)
Warner Home Video
Cast: James Karen, Thom Matthews, Dana Ashbrook, Marsha Dietlein
Extras: Commentary Track, Trailer

Trying to mimic the success of the original ’Return Of The Living Dead’ this sequel once again raises the dead in a not-so-serious fashion for a gruesome fright fest. While the movie has its moments they are fairly rare and the movie never lives up to the quality of the Dan O’Bannon original. The story is flat and uninventive, the acting is really poor and many of the events just don’t make any sense. Add to that some prosthetic make-up that looks overly rubbery and you have a mediocre film that neither really scares nor amuses.

Warner home Video is bringing ’Return Of The Living Dead: Part II’ to DVD in an anamorphic widescreen transfer. The image is free of defects or blemishes and is very clear, without grain or noise. Details are well rendered, making the film look much better than it deserves as a matter of fact. Color reproduction is also meticulous and the black levels make sure the image has depth yet never loses definition. It’s a great transfer overall.

The audio comes as Dolby Stereo mix that is adequate. It lacks a bit in the bass registers and thus makes some of the 80’s metal music sound a bit too shrill for my taste, but other than that it’s a solid track without distortion.

A commentary track featuring writer/director Ken Wiederhorn and actor Thor Van Linger is also included. The track manages to convey some of the enthusiasm and ideals that went in to the production but seeing as the film didn’t exactly succeed in its intentions, the comments sometimes feel a bit out of place.

Warner Home Video has given this film a solid DVD treatment. Nothing special, but a solid presentation that should make fans of the series more than happy. For me, the cool cover artwork is still the best thing about the film, really. For everyone but hard-core fans of this series of zombie spoofs, this is just a rental.