Oops! I Hope He Was a Zombie (Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave, 2005)

rotld_rave_to_the_grave_posterThis was filmed back to back with Necropolis and feature much of the same cast and crew. The kids from Necropolis are in college and getting their learn on or whatever.  Uncle Charles is in Russia trying to see the Trioxin gas to Russian mobsters or something.  The deal goes bad, and eventually, a canister of Trioxin ends up in the hands of his nephew Julian and his friends.  They start experimenting with it, resulting in a potent hallucinogenic drug creatively called “Z”.  Of course, the drug has a side effect…it turns you into a zombie.  I am sure there is a subtle metaphor there.  The finale plays out against a big rave with Russian mobsters blowing stuff up.

It is pretty clear that this was an attempt to capture the spirit of the first two films.  And there are minor chuckles to be found, but nothing particularly memorable.  The movie makes the zombies less threatening.  In the first three films, head woulds and being shot did little to nothing.  Zombies in Necropolis and Rave to the Grave are pretty easily taken down.  This film brings back the Tar Man (seen in the first two films) but even there it feels like a cheap imitation.  The Tar Man of Parts one and two had a disjointed yet fluid set of movements, like he was on the verge of falling apart.  The Tar Man in this film lacks the movement, at one point walking with a pretty regular stride.

The movie is not a return to the fun monster-fest of the original, though it wants to be.

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