Film: Return of the Living Dead Part II

The 1988 sequel to The Return of the Living Dead.

A drum of Trioxin, the stuff from the first film that reanimates the dead, falls from back of an army truck into the town of Westvale. It is later opened by two bullies, and the stuff is soon all over the local graveyard, with comedic zombie hijinx as a result.

This film has the examples of:

  • Alien Blood: The zombies bleed green and black.
  • Blatant Lies: The opening narration states that after observing the effects of Trioxin, the military decides not to use it and, "as far as anyone knows, all Trioxin has been destroyed"... as the camera pans over a truck loaded with many barrels of same.
  • Bond One-Liner: This gem after Jesse gets Billy off his tail for the time being during the climax:
    Jesse: That's why you're dead, asswipe: no brains and a big mouth!
  • Brain Food: Once again, the zombies want brains for nourishment. There is also an instance of one victim willingly letting her zombified boyfriend to eat her brains, in an inversion of something that happened in the previous film.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: A rare non-cellular version occurs. A boy who found a couple errant drums of Trioxin attempts to call the number stencilled on the side, but the panicking driver of a van takes out a utility box on the corner through which the phone lines for the entire neighborhood are routed.
  • Closed Circle: When the army gets wind of the town's zombie situation, they close its borders.
  • Denser and Wackier: The film leans much more towards comedy than the last film.
  • Disappeared Dad: Burt Wilson from the first film is hinted very strongly to be either this or a Disappeared Uncle to Jesse and Lucy.
  • Distress Call: "Send more cops."
  • Evil Overlooker: The face in the fog formation in the poster.
  • Eye Scream: When the electricity starts hitting the zombies in the finale, one's eye is shown popping because of it.
  • Flipping the Bird: When the cast finally gets rid of the still moving zombie hand by throwing it out of their car, it flips them off as they drive away.
  • Genre Savvy: When it looks like the heroes have found another human being and request their location with the radio, Dr. Mandel is quick to ask who the current president is. Which in turn saves the gang from the zombie who was trying to trick them.
  • Grave Robbing: Ed and Joey are at the graveyard to steal heads for people willing to pay for them. Ed also uses the job as a chance to steal valuables from the dead.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Dr. Mandel distracts Bill from killing Jesse by hitting him in the head with a bottle of whiskey.
  • Groin Attack: While the heroes are juggling around a severed zombie hand inside a moving car, at one point it latches onto the family jewels of the car's owner Dr. Mandel.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Lucy shoots a zombie in half, and its two sides start acting independently from another.
  • Incongruously Dressed Zombie: When all the zombies are being electrocuted, a one dressed like Michael Jackson in "Thriller" music video suddenly appears.
  • Large Ham: Ed and Joey spend most of the film howling about how much zombification hurts.
  • Laughably Evil: The zombies, due to them falling into Stupid Evil and one severed head who has been chatty and sassy up to the end of the film.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than the first film, to the point where it would have gotten a PG-13 rating if the part where a zombie was blown in half with a shotgun had been trimmed down, and where it could be considered a family-friendly zombie film in the style of ParaNorman. The gore is minimal, the foul language is toned down, the dark humor is Up to Eleven, there's no Fanservice unlike the first film, and there's a much happier ending than the first film's Kill Them All Here We Go Again Downer Ending.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Although they manage to not take Jesse's interrupted call for granted and arrive to the town, all they perform is cordon off the town and shoot anybody trying to leave, send only one armed jeep inside (which is annihilated pretty quickly), and perform clean-up after the heroes manage to kill the zombies.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer of the movie made it look like it was gonna be just as (if not more) dark as (or even darker than based on the way it was promoted in contrast to the first film's fun-emphasized promos) the first movie when, in comparison, it's actually pretty light-hearted.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Jesse repeatedly tries to tell the rest of the protagonists about the zombie situation at the beginning but is ignored, and his attempt to call the army by himself is stopped by the destruction of the neighborhood's phone junction. Later on he says a couple of times that they should try to find a phone, but is still ignored.
  • Reality Ensues: Both inverted and played straight; the zombies play by the same rules as the first film, but they just can't stand electricity. High voltage can kill the living dead as easily as it can kill the living, and thanks to the efforts of the protagonists the infestation is stopped as quickly as it was in Night of the Living Dead (1968).
  • Rise from Your Grave: The zombies starts busting out of their graves once the Trioxin gas has dissipated. Some humour is had as one zombie gets constantly stomped when it tries to climb out of its own grave.
  • Sergeant Rock: The sergeant played by Mitch Pileggi tries to present himself as this, boasting about how nice it is to go to war against the zombies, because you can legally inflict whatever violence you want against the undead. He survives all of ten seconds against the first wave of zombies he encounters, because against Trioxin zombies even an M-60 is insufficient firepower.
  • Shock and Awe: Revealed to be the most efficient way to kill zombies in-series thus far.
  • Shout-Out: When Jesse gets a hold on a revolver, he says "Make my night".
  • Species Loyalty: Zombie Billy shows this when he jumps over the fence and uses the control panel to open it, which allows the other zombies another chance at eating the heroes brains.
  • Title of the Dead: Plus Numbered Sequels.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: We're treated to a rare inversion where the monsters, in this case the horde of zombies, are wielding all manner of hand tools and trying to gain access to two protagonists trapped in the back of a meat truck.
  • Undead Child: A twelve-year-old neighborhood bully Bill gets a faceful of Trioxin vapor.
  • Zombie Gait: The older zombies have stiff movements, the fresher ones can move more freely.
  • Zombie Infectee: Ed and Joey slowly turn into zombies after they get a whiff of the trioxin at the graveyard. Same goes for the Billy, who opened the drum containing it.