Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988)

R | 90 mins | Horror, Comedy | 15 January 1988

Director:

Ken Wiederhorn

Writer:

Ken Wiederhorn

Producer:

Tom Fox

Cinematographer:

Robert Elswit

Production Designer:

Dale Allen Pelton

Production Company:

Greenfox Production
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HISTORY

During opening credits, the following voice-over narration is heard: “In the fall of 1969, the Darrell Chemical Company, under contract to the U.S. Army, conducted a series of secret experiments with a new biological weapon call 245-Trioxin. According to reports, the chemical was a catalyst in genetic re-actification. What this meant and why Trioxin was useful has never been revealed. But one thing is certain … Trioxin was soon considered too dangerous and volatile, even for experimental use. Interest in the lethal compound was abandoned several years ago. The Army will not comment, other than to say all Trioxin has since been destroyed.”
       The film is a sequel to 1985’s The Return of the Living Dead (see entry), and was followed by 1993’s Return of the Living Dead 3. At the time this record was written, there are five films in the Return of the Living Dead series. The 2005 films, Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis and Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave, premiered on television.
       Although a news item from the 24 Aug 1986 LAT mentioned that the film was a sequel, an article in the 9 Feb 1987 DV reported that producer Tom Fox claimed the picture was not a sequel. Fox noted that “[t]here’s certainly continuity, but we’re trying to make this [film] much more (consciously) comedic.” The 24 Aug 1986 LAT noted Ann Bell as being the film’s associate director, but Bell is not credited onscreen.
       The 17 Mar 1987 HR ...

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During opening credits, the following voice-over narration is heard: “In the fall of 1969, the Darrell Chemical Company, under contract to the U.S. Army, conducted a series of secret experiments with a new biological weapon call 245-Trioxin. According to reports, the chemical was a catalyst in genetic re-actification. What this meant and why Trioxin was useful has never been revealed. But one thing is certain … Trioxin was soon considered too dangerous and volatile, even for experimental use. Interest in the lethal compound was abandoned several years ago. The Army will not comment, other than to say all Trioxin has since been destroyed.”
       The film is a sequel to 1985’s The Return of the Living Dead (see entry), and was followed by 1993’s Return of the Living Dead 3. At the time this record was written, there are five films in the Return of the Living Dead series. The 2005 films, Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis and Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave, premiered on television.
       Although a news item from the 24 Aug 1986 LAT mentioned that the film was a sequel, an article in the 9 Feb 1987 DV reported that producer Tom Fox claimed the picture was not a sequel. Fox noted that “[t]here’s certainly continuity, but we’re trying to make this [film] much more (consciously) comedic.” The 24 Aug 1986 LAT noted Ann Bell as being the film’s associate director, but Bell is not credited onscreen.
       The 17 Mar 1987 HR production chart stated that principal photography began on 16 Mar 1987 in California. Items in AMPAS library files noted that filming would happen “at selected cemeteries throughout California.” However, the 9 Feb 1987 DV noted that this statement had been made as a joke. According to the 22 Apr 1988 LAT article, part of filming took place at Valencia Studios in Santa Clarita, CA. The 24 Mar 1987 HR noted that the film’s budget was approximately $6.2 million.
       HR production chart listed Charles Landrum as being part of the picture’s camera department and Cassidy Watson Assoc. as handling the publicity, but neither is credited onscreen.
       Actors James Karen and Thom Mathews, featured in 1985’s The Return of the Living Dead, were re-cast for the sequel. However, they did not reprise their characters from the first film.
       While the 15 Mar 1987 LAT mentioned the film’s anticipated release for fall 1987, the picture opened on 1,400 screens 15 Jan 1988, as noted in the HR published the same day. The 20 Jan 1988 LAT noted the film took in $3.6 million at the box office during its opening weekend.
       The film gives actor Michael Kenworthy an “Introducing” credit, although he appeared in the 1986 feature film 'night, Mother (see entry) as the character of “Kenny Cates.”
       End credits state: “The Producers wish to acknowledge the following: Spider-Man and the likeness thereof TM and © 1987 Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.”

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Feb 1987
p. 1, 26
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 1987
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 1987
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 1988
p. 8, 44
Los Angeles Times
24 Aug 1986
Calendar, p. 37
Los Angeles Times
15 Mar 1987
Calendar, p. 33
Los Angeles Times
16 Jan 1988
Calendar, p. 5
Los Angeles Times
20 Jan 1988
Calendar, p. 2
Los Angeles Times
22 Apr 1988
Calendar, p. 24
New York Times
15 Jan 1988
Section C, p. 11
Variety
13 Jan 1988
p. 18
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Lorimar Motion Pictures Presents
A Greenfox Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still person
Key grip
2d grip
Gaffer
Best boy
Cam and lenses provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Visual consultant
Asst art dir
Storyboard artist
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Apprentice film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Lead person
Set dresser
Const coord
Prop master
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Women`s ward
Men`s ward
MUSIC
Mus supv, Sounds of Film Ltd.
Mus ed
Exec mus coord, Island Records
Exec mus coord
Asst mus supv
SOUND
Glenn Anderson
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Looping coord
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec physical eff
Spec physical eff
Spec physical eff
Eff amin
Titles and spec opt eff
DANCE
Zombie movements created by
MAKEUP
Spec makeup created by
Makeup supv
Hairstylist
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
Spec makeup crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod admin
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Asst to prods
Asst to Ken Wiederhorn
Extra casting
Casting asst
Accountant
Asst accountant
School teacher
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Craft service
Driver capt
Co-capt
Completion bond provided by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Jesse's double
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
SONGS
“Flesh To Flesh,” performed by Lamont, written by Joe Lamont and Brian Cadd, produced by David Kitay and Joe Lamont, Front Wheel Music, Inc./Montal Music/Fairy Dust Music/Marblehead Music; “Spacehopper,” performed and written by Julian Cope, produced by Ed Stasium, Virgin-Nymph Music, Inc.; “Alone In The Night,” performed by Leatherwolf, written by Geoffrey Gayer, Carey Howe, Michael Olivieri, Dean Roberts and Paul Carmen, produced by Kevin Beamish, Island Music, Inc.; “Bad Case Of Lovin’ You,” performed and produced by Robert Palmer, written by John Moon Martin, Rockslam Music; “Looking For Clues,” performed, written and produced by Robert Palmer, Bungalow Music N.V./Ackee Music Inc., above recordings courtesy of Island Records; “Big Band B-Boy,” performed by Mantronix, written by Mantronix and M. C. Tee, produced by Mantronix, Beach House Music, recording courtesy of Sleeping Bag Records; “I’m The Man,” performed by Anthrax, written by Joseph Belladonna, Dan Spitz, Scott Ian, Frank Bello, Charles Benante and John Rooney, produced by Anthrax and Eddie Cramer, Anthrax Music/Black Lion Music; “A.D.I./Horror Of It All,” performed by Anthrax, written by Joseph Belladonna, Dan Spitz, Scott Ian, Frank Bello, Charles Benante and John Rooney, produced by Anthrax and Eddie Cramer, Anthrax Music/Black Lion Music, above recordings courtesy of Megaforce/Island Records; “High Priest Of Love,” performed and written by Zodiac Mindwarp and The Love Reaction, Zoo/Warner Bros. Music Ltd., recording courtesy of Phonogram Records, Ltd.; “Monster Mash,” produced by Ken Scott, written by Bobby Pickett & Leonard Capizzi, publishers: Acoustic Music, Inc./Capizzi Music Co./Gary S. Paxton Music, Inc. (BMI).
PERFORMED BY
+
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 January 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 15 Jan 1988
Production Date:
began 16 Mar 1987
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Prints
Prints by Metrocolor®
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28700
SYNOPSIS

On a rainy night, trucks from the U.S. Army’s Toxic and Hazardous Waste Unit transport the biological weapon compound 245-Trioxin. Three barrels fall off the last truck, with one rolling into the nearby river and carried by the current into a drainage pipe. The following day in the suburbs of Westvale, young Jesse Wilson is confronted by Billy and Johnny, the neighborhood bullies. Promising to show Jesse their “clubhouse,” Billy and Johnny lead him to a mausoleum at the local cemetery. Scared, Jesse attempts to hide from the bullies in the drainage pipe. After finding Jesse, the three boys notice the lost Trioxin barrel and see a decomposed body inside. Jesse insists on telephoning the Army contact number, printed on the barrel, but the bullies disagree and lock Jesse inside the mausoleum. Afterward, Billy and Johnny break into the barrel and are engulfed by a green toxic gas. As the boys run away coughing, a zombie crawls out of the barrel. Meanwhile, the Army worries about the missing barrel and evacuates the town, but not the nearby suburbs. Later at the cemetery, a grave robber named Ed arrives with his hired help, Joey, and Joey’s girl friend, Brenda. As Ed and Joey unlock the mausoleum, Jesse escapes and runs home. Fearing that Billy and Johnny opened the strange barrel, Jesse decides to contact the Army. However, his older sister, Lucy Wilson, refuses to let him leave. Later, cable installer Tom Essex arrives and recognizes Lucy from high school. While he chats with Lucy, Jesse sneaks out to the drainage pipe and copies the telephone ...

More Less

On a rainy night, trucks from the U.S. Army’s Toxic and Hazardous Waste Unit transport the biological weapon compound 245-Trioxin. Three barrels fall off the last truck, with one rolling into the nearby river and carried by the current into a drainage pipe. The following day in the suburbs of Westvale, young Jesse Wilson is confronted by Billy and Johnny, the neighborhood bullies. Promising to show Jesse their “clubhouse,” Billy and Johnny lead him to a mausoleum at the local cemetery. Scared, Jesse attempts to hide from the bullies in the drainage pipe. After finding Jesse, the three boys notice the lost Trioxin barrel and see a decomposed body inside. Jesse insists on telephoning the Army contact number, printed on the barrel, but the bullies disagree and lock Jesse inside the mausoleum. Afterward, Billy and Johnny break into the barrel and are engulfed by a green toxic gas. As the boys run away coughing, a zombie crawls out of the barrel. Meanwhile, the Army worries about the missing barrel and evacuates the town, but not the nearby suburbs. Later at the cemetery, a grave robber named Ed arrives with his hired help, Joey, and Joey’s girl friend, Brenda. As Ed and Joey unlock the mausoleum, Jesse escapes and runs home. Fearing that Billy and Johnny opened the strange barrel, Jesse decides to contact the Army. However, his older sister, Lucy Wilson, refuses to let him leave. Later, cable installer Tom Essex arrives and recognizes Lucy from high school. While he chats with Lucy, Jesse sneaks out to the drainage pipe and copies the telephone number. A zombie appears, demanding Jesse’s brain to eat. Jesse escapes and warns Lucy and Tom. However, they do not believe him. Meanwhile, Trioxin gas floats into the cemetery, causing dead bodies to revive and turn into zombies. The green gas also surrounds Ed and Joey. Running outside, they find Brenda fighting off zombies. The three run away and arrive at Jesse’s neighborhood, asking Tom and Lucy for help. Jesse remembers that their neighbor, Dr. Mandel, is home and has a car. With Dr. Mandel, Tom drives to the hospital, but the building is empty. Having inhaled the Trioxin, Ed and Joey feel the effects of the gas and their bodies go into rigor mortis. While Dr. Mandel performs tests, Tom, Lucy and Jesse go into town looking for help. Finding the town evacuated, Lucy instructs Tom to drive to her grandfather’s house. Inside, Lucy breaks into a firearm cabinet and passes out guns and rifles. Returning to the hospital, Dr. Mandel announces that Ed and Joey need to be placed in containment. However, Brenda refuses to believe Joey is dead, and takes him and Ed away. Seeing two soldiers, Brenda stops and asks for help. Ed turns into a zombie, and attacks a solider, eating his brain. Horrified, Brenda drives away with Joey. However, Joey transforms into a zombie himself and eats Brenda’s brain. Meanwhile at the hospital, Jesse, Lucy, Tom and Dr. Mandel find an abandoned ambulance and attempt to leave town. However, Tom hits a zombie with the vehicle, flinging the creature against an electric marquee sitting in a puddle. The zombie is killed by electrocution. Afterward, Tom gets an idea. With frozen animal brains from a meatpacking warehouse, the group goes to the power plant. Lucy and Jesse scatter brains on the wet ground, and Tom shuts down the power and places severed electrical wires near the brains. As Jesse, Lucy, and Tom lure the zombies to the plant, Dr. Mandel waits in the control room to turn on the power. However, the zombies overpower them and chase Tom, Lucy and Jesse inside the meat truck. Unable to contact Dr. Mandel, Jesse drives the truck away from the zombies and runs into the control room. However, Billy, a newly transformed zombie, attacks Jesse. Dodging Billy, Jesse turns the power on and electrocutes the zombies. Later, the Army arrives and clears the area, burning the zombies with flamethrowers.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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