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Nightmare Fuel / The Return of the Living Dead

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  • Tar Man. Oh dear God, Tar Man. For a film that's largely comedic, the scene in which he appears (excluding the opening where he's still in the canister) is arguably the most horrifying moment in the entire franchise. The other zombies are no slouch in the nightmare fuel department either, especially the zombie in the mausoleum in II, and all of the zombies released from the Trioxin canisters in III.
  • The Half-Zombie's conversation with Ernie is genuinely creepy and brings up some rather disturbing possible implications. If it hurts being dead, is there the possibility that the afterlife in Return of the living Dead is actually being stuck in your corpse slowly rotting away and being a zombie just allows you the method to temporarily relieve the pain of rotting away?
    • Its more likely that being forcibly reanimated and trapped in a decaying body is whats causing the pain.
  • This is a truly disturbing bit of Fridge Horror to consider. The corpses sealed in the canisters were put there because the military found it impossible to kill and all they could do was confine them. So from 1968 to 1984 those corpses were trapped in small, confined, dark tanks, unable to move, unable to see, unable to hear but fully able to think and contemplate their existence, as well as feel themselves rotting away and thus being in a state of constant, unending pain and not even able to scream. Fast forward to the movie when Frank and Freddy break the canister holding the Tar Man and he's set free, but not before being subjected to the feel of his rotten flesh melting off of his bones before finally getting loose.
    • Also, earlier in the scene when Frank shows Freddy the canister's contents, the not-yet-melted Tar Man is presumably fully capable of moving when they peer through the canister window at him. Yet he doesn't move in the slightest, even though it's the first time he'd have been exposed to light in ages. He'd heard the two men enter the cellar, and kept still ''in ambush', in the hope that they'd get curious enough to open the canister so he could eat their brains.
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  • Sure, it's funny, but "Send... more... paramedics". These bastards are smart enough to fake distress calls.
  • The idea that, no matter how much damage you inflict or what you do, the zombies will never die. Headshot? Nothing. Dismemberment? Just more pieces to come after you. Nuclear strike? Good job, now you've spread the infection even more. Extinction just seems inevitable.
    • Actually, electrocution and burning kills them. You just shouldn't do the last one because that just turns the virus airborne as well.
      • Only if the smoke comes out a tall chimney and mixes with rain clouds. The soldiers in the second film burned the "surviving" zombies with flamethrowers, and there was no mention of further spread.
  • And these are smart zombies. They figure out how to ambush victims, and when they get at the paramedics and the cops responding to the crisis they get on the horn and tell the dispatchers to send more.
  • Not only can 245-Trioxin Zombify the Living, but it can bring back any dead organic matter. In the medical supply, it brings back preserved butterflies and a split dog. It can even resurrect long-decayed bodies from the cemetery.

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