When a group of zombies attack a family, one of them is shocked back to his senses by realizing that it's his family he's trying to eat. Having killed his wife and daughter before he awoke, the zombie wanders into the Underdark, where he learns what happened to his son. The government took him to a boarding school where he'll be trained in fighting the supernatural. Teleporting out of Hell, the zombie battles the undead to protect his son.
It was distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment.
This film contains examples of:
- Academy of Adventure: The government has a boarding school where children are taken to learn how to fight monsters.
- Adaptational Heroism: Astaroth in Christian folklore is the Great Duke of Hell who tempts men into damnation via sloth. Here, he is the kindly lord of the afterlife, who sends John on his quest to stop the zombies.
- Battle Amongst the Flames: The final battle happens as the Big Bad's mansion is burning down.
- Big Bad: Dr. Brainchild is secretly responsible for the zombie attacks in an attempt to discover true resurrection.
- Big Good: Astaroth, the Prince of the Underdark, who inspires the Living Corpse to save the day and eventually starts sending him on missions to kill evil zombies.
- Blasphemous Boast: When he's introducing Taylor to his scientific endeavors:Dr. Brainchild: "We will perform miracles that God himself will envy!"
- Brain Food: Zombies need brains to live.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Underdark resembles Fire and Brimstone Hell, but is actually a normal afterlife that just happens to look like everything humans fear.
- Deader Than Dead: Anybody killed by a zombie completely ceases to exist.
- The Fantastic Trope of Wonderous Titles
- The Full Name Adventures
- Hellgate: There are infinite portals in the Underdark, which can lead to literally anywhere else if you know which one you're looking for.
- Horror Hunger: Despite getting his soul back, John still has to eat brains to live.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: The Living Corpse has taken to battling zombies and demons to protect his son.
- Hunter of Monsters: The boarding school Taylor is taken to trains kids to become this. Taylor himself is The Smart Guy for a team of them, under the tutelage of Dr. Brainchild.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Taylor manages to get the Living Corpse's original personality back by reminding him that he's his son.
- Kid Detective: Taylor befriends two fellow kids who are trying to investigate the mysteries of the school.
- Long Title
- My God, What Have I Done?: John is haunted by the fact that he killed his wife and daughter while in the throes of zombie hunger.
- Not Using the "Z" Word: The zombies are never called such, only referred to as "the Dark Things" and The Undead.
- Our Demons Are Different: These are normal beings who just happen to look like everything humans fear. While they're made of things like darkness and decay, they're not Always Chaotic Evil, with even their king being kind and helpful. They take many forms, such as a Winged Humanoid, a green imp, or a ball of red light.
- Our Zombies Are Different: These are the basic shambling flesh-eaters, created by a serum and requiring brains to live. They usually have no semblance of their former selves, but sometimes their souls reawaken. Also, they last far longer the fresher the corpse.
- Raising the Steaks: The Living Corpse battles an undead rhinoceros in one sequence.
- Shout-Out: The Living Corpse's real name, John Romero, is a reference to Night of the Living Dead (1968) director George A. Romero.
- The Sociopath: Dr. Brainchild, who's perfectly willing to start zombie outbreaks, kidnap children, make them work for him, and throw their lives away to achieve true resurrection. He doesn't even want to do it for any good intentions, simply For Science!
- Time Skip: The last half hour of the film takes place 15 years after the first hour.