Written by John Edward Betancourt
It is in fact, the only fast moving zombie film (with a deceased corpse that is) that I absolutely adore, but truth be told I don't think I've ever been quite able to truly enjoy this film for one specific reason...it's never had a good print available on any medium. VHS was always VHS. The DVD and Blu Ray editions that came out over the last few years were murky at best, so while the film is fun to watch, one cannot truly appreciate Dan O'Bannon's unique vision...that is until now since Shout Factory has gifted all of us with an incredible Collector's Edition of this iconic motion picture.
At long last, this film finally looks outright gorgeous, with a stunning new 2K transfer that allows for everything to pop. Details that I never knew existed in this film are everywhere to be found now, even down to something as simple as the sweat on the foreheads of the characters as they move about on their hot summer night filled with terror and that also means...the living dead look better than ever. These ghouls take on new life in this incredible new transfer, showing off all the gory and disgusting detail that was intended to be seen on screen from day one and the transfer alone makes this set worth purchasing but it only gets better from here because holy cow, is this set loaded to the brim with extras.
There's so much stuff when it comes to this film's rich history that Shout Factory actually included a second disc that is nothing but extra goodies, including a fascinating documentary on how the film came to life, beginning with John Russo's original script to the final product we enjoy to this day alongside other documentaries that chronicle the movie's killer soundtrack and how these gruesome zombies came together special effects wise as well. But of all of the many special features that I am STILL going through in this collection...none of them compare to the crown jewel...they actually managed to include the only decent copy I have ever seen of the film's workprint.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, the ultra rare workprint, where one can find the film's alternate ending is finally on display which means that this collector's edition is an absolute must own for any horror or zombie fan. Shout Factory has given this film incredible care and its new look and remastered soundtrack actually make the film feel like a big budget modern zombie epic and the stunning detail found here almost begs for the viewer to watch it several times over to soak in just how much incredible work went into this cult classic. Either way, snag this one today from either Shout Factory's website or Amazon if you please, and enjoy The Return of the Living Dead the way it was always intended to be seen.