This is the news that we, the legion of rabid Return of the Living Dead fans, have been waiting for. The UK's Second Sight is releasing one of the greatest of all zombie films on Blu-ray with the restored original soundtrack!
The Return of the Living Dead is easily in my top ten favorite films of all time, but every digital home video release has been compromised in some way over the years. I actually posted about this a while ago, and rather than retype everything, I'll copy the statements from way back then:
Iit is worth noting that this [US Blu-ray], and all of the US releases of this film
on DVD have a slightly altered soundtrack. The Tar-man's voice is
rerecorded, as is the "send more cops" zombie, and a couple of songs are
mixed down or cut, including The Tall Boys "Take a Walk", and The
Damned's "Dead Beat Dance". There is also sound editing around another
event that might constitute a spoiler, so I won't post it specifically.
That is all fairly disappointing, but I can't see it being corrected
any time soon. I think Dan O'Bannon was pretty upset about it, but he
was out of the decision making loop for this one, and now he is gone.
It doesn't completely ruin the experience, but it is worth noting. The
very first DVD release from Tartan UK had the in tact original
soundtrack, but it was full screen, it is now long out of print and
expensive on the second hand market. You can't always get what you
Second Sight have listened to the fans and will be releasing ROTLD with the proper soundtrack for the first time in a long time. This, by itself, is enough to lure many fans of the film, but there's more! Second Sight's new version will also include the recent documentary, More Brains: A Return to the Living Dead, and all associated bonus material. This is a great documentary that I have reviewed in the past and I have posted a link below. There are also several new featurettes, including a look at the FX and a conversation about the classic soundtrack.
Second Sight's edition, assuming that the A/V is up to snuff, has now become the version to beat. However, diehard fans like myself will want to be aware that this doesn't contain ALL of the bonus material out there, and you'll want to keep your US version for completion's sake. That being said, fans have long demanded the original soundtrack, and I'm psyched to see it get a release!
Second Sight's Blu-ray Steelbook and 2-disc DVD are scheduled for release on June 4th, here's what they have to say about it:
The dead have risen and they need more 'BRAINS'! Dan O'Bannon's cult splatterfest The Return Of The Living Dead is one of the definitive zombie movies and one of the classic horror films of the 80s.
Now this horror favourite is being released on 4 June 2012 courtesy of Second Sight as a special edition double DVD and makes its UK Blu-ray debut in a limited edition Steelbook, both with five hours of special features and also the much anticipated inclusion of the original soundtrack as well as the remixed version.
Blundering medical supplies warehouse workers Frank and his young trainee Freddy unwittingly set off a mysterious US military chemical that brings the dead back to life. And they've got a real hunger for human brains. Enlisting the help of a local crematorium, they set off a chain of events that could lead to the end of civilisation. Can they defeat the growing army of ravenous zombies? 'How do you kill something that's already dead' It's not a bad question Bert.
Complete with a raucous rock soundtrack by the inimitable The Cramps, The Return Of The Living Dead is a zombie gorefest at its best.