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Return of the Living Dead II (1988) Review

“Return of the Living Dead II” is a 1988 American horror comedy film directed by Ken Wiederhorn and written by John A. Russo. It is the sequel to the 1985 film “The Return of the Living Dead”, and stars Thom Mathews, James Karen, and Brian Peck. The film follows a group of teenagers who inadvertently release a horde of zombies, and must defend themselves from the undead.

Here we go again, round 2 in the ROTLD series and again what a hoot. For anyone that enjoyed the first one, you are almost guaranteed to enjoy this outing just as much.

This movie, like the original, is a tongue-in-cheek adventure with James Karen and Thom Mathews making a return (they worked in the warehouse in number 1), except this time as grave robbers. These poor guys find themselves trying to escape town with a few other survivors but in the end this proves much more difficult than they may otherwise have imagined.

ROTLD Part 2 is not that scary truth be told but there’s some gooey-icky gore to be found here and there.

That same sense of humor is here again and indeed the pacing and general characterizations are the same. This in my opinion is no bad thing as it was these aspects that made the original so much fun. The special effects are superb considering this is a 20 year old movie, plus the general standard of acting is fine, writer and director Ken Wiederhorn should be applauded for bringing together a sequel which more than does justice to the original (though as i understand it this movie was never originally intended to be a sequel but a standalone film all in it’s own right). Horror fans are gonna love it.

“Return of the Living Dead II” is a fun and gory horror comedy that is sure to please fans of the genre. The film’s humor is dark and clever, and the gore is plentiful and realistically done. The acting is solid, and the characters are likable. The film’s pacing is a bit slow at times, but overall, “Return of the Living Dead II” is a fun and entertaining sequel.


It has been five years since the horrific events of the first film, and the town of Louisville, Kentucky has finally begun to rebuild. However, the peace is shattered one night when a group of teenagers break into the local cemetery in search of a thrill. Unbeknownst to them, the grave of a zombie from the first film has been unearthed, and the creature soon comes back to life.

The zombie begins feeding on the teens, and soon the entire town is under siege by the living dead. The military is called in to contain the situation, but they are quickly overwhelmed. As the situation spirals out of control, the survivors must band together to find a way to escape the city before it is completely overrun.

Return of the Living Dead II is a heart-pounding thrill ride that will leave you begging for more.

Movie Details

Director: Ken Wiederhorn
Writer: John A. Russo
Actors: James Karen, Thom Mathews, Dana Ashbrook
Release Year: 1988