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The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest V

Hell Plaza Oktoberfest V

Adam Jahnke - Main Page

More Brains! A Return To The Living Dead (DVD)

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More Brains! A Return To The Living Dead
2011 (2011) - CAV Distributing
Released on DVD on October 18th, 2011

One of the highlights from last year's Oktoberfest was Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, an exhaustive documentary on the life and times of everyone's favorite dreamboat, Freddy Krueger. Now, the team behind that film has reassembled for another in-depth horror documentary. This time, they've set their sights on Dan O'Bannon's 1985 cult classic The Return Of The Living Dead. It's billed as "The Definitive ROTLD Documentary" and it's hard to argue with that claim.

Once again, an impressive roster of interviewees has been assembled. We hear from virtually the entire cast, with the exception of Mark Venturini, who passed away in 1996.

Every aspect of the film is detailed, from John A. Russo's original concept to the involvement of Dan O'Bannon to the greenlighting process at Hemdale. The movie doesn't shy away from such details as O'Bannon's prickly personality, the troubled evolution of the makeup effects, and disagreements among cast members.

Of course, all of this will only be really interesting if you're a fan of the original movie. ROTLD did not have the cultural impact that the Elm Street movies had, so there isn't really much to talk about beyond the making of the film itself. More Brains is clearly a labor of love but it never really gets past preaching to the converted. If you love ROTLD, and you should, you'll enjoy the documentary. But if you don't, you'll be left wondering what the big deal is.

On DVD, More Brains looks and sounds perfectly fine. Obviously most of the footage is just people talking but the brief animated transitions are bright and colorful. Extras are plentiful and interesting. Of most value is Dan O'Bannon's final interview, recorded shortly before his death in 2009. He's candid, funny, and openly admits to making mistakes, especially in some of his dealings with his actors. There are also two mini-documentaries on the making of ROTLD's two inferior sequels. These are just as interesting as the main feature. It's slightly curious that the extras don't mention the later follow-ups, Return Of The Living Dead: Necropolis and Return Of The Living Dead: Rave To The Grave, although I can understand why they're best forgotten. The disc also includes a bevy of deleted scenes, a featurette revisiting the movie's locations, and a music video of Stacey Q performing the iconic "Tonight (We'll Make Love Until We Die)" song.

If you have The Return Of The Living Dead on DVD or Blu-ray, you know that MGM already did a pretty good job with its bonus features. Is there really that much more to talk about? If you're a hardcore fan, the answer is absolutely yes. More Brains is more comprehensive and more honest than what's already out there. It's a movie by fans, for fans. If you're one of them, you'll eat this up with a brain-scoop.

Film Rating: B
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/A-/A-

Adam Jahnke

Adam Jahnke - Main Page
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