Thursday, November 10, 2011
In the vein of HIS NAME WAS JASON and NEVER SLEEP AGAIN comes a new retrospective documentary about a fan favorite 80s horror film. In this case, it's a feature-length tribute to the late Dan O'Bannon's 1985 cult classic, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, titled MORE BRAINS! A RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD (2011).
As with the aforementioned docs, MORE BRAINS chronicles the making of the zombie opus, from its early origins as a direct sequel novel & screenplay to George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, written by John Russo, through its acquisition by independent producer Tom Fox, to its eventual reshaping and execution by O'Bannon into the memorably macabre horror comedy it became. Virtually every principal involved in the film's creation and making is interviewed on-camera, and their recollections are skillfully assembled into a clear and flowing narrative. Production designer William Stout, writer John Russo, the make-up artists and almost the entire cast appear, and their continued enthusiasm and affection for the movie is contagious.
MORE BRAINS is narrated by actor Brian Peck - who played the role of "Scuz" in the film, and also appeared in both sequels (often as various zombies) - and includes interviews with actors James Karen, Clu Gulager, Thom Matthews, Linnea Quigley, Jewel Shepherd and Beverly Randolph (among others). There are plenty of interesting anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories, a slew of rare photos and footage, special effects "secrets," and even a little dirt. If you're a true fan of RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, the documentary is an exhaustive treasure trove of tasty trivia and tidbits.
Running four hours, the DVD from MPE Entertainment presents MORE BRAINS! in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Extras include featurettes covering the two sequel movies, including additional interviews with the cast and crew of those films, a Dan O' Bannon interview recorded shortly before his death in 2009, a Stacey Q music video, a video tour of the original filming locations, and trailers for the movie and the NEVER SLEEP AGAIN disc.
Obviously, MORE BRAINS! A RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD is intended pretty much exclusively for hardcore fans of that 1985 flick, and if you are such a fan, then you might want to check it out. It's very well-made, and is a fascinating chronicle of Eighties horror filmmaking.
BUY: More Brains! A Return To The Living Dead