Return of the Living Dead (1985)

A woman shivering in a graveyard in the rain.

While showing a new employee around a medical supplies warehouse, manager Frank accidentally cracks open a military canister containing a chemical that can bring dead bodies back to life. The leak infects a corpse in the freezer which they manage to dismember and cremate, but the contaminated smoke falls on a nearby graveyard.

This is a high energy, gory teen comedy, with plenty of slapstick moments, just like Evil Dead 2, but it’s more of an ensemble piece than that. The punks hanging out in the graveyard are everything I wish I’d been as a teen — vibrant, trashy, horny, loud, and sometimes naked in public. The downside is that there’s too much shouted dialogue in small rooms.

Hidden in the chaos is a tragic moment when an undead woman, tied to a table, is asked why she needs to eat people’s brains, and she says it’s the only thing that eases the pain of being dead. Which broke my heart a bit.

All films in 2023’s #31DaysofHorror…