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                                  F.A.Q.

  • Where can I get "The Trioxin Theme"?

          "The Trioxin Theme" was not released anywhere at any time. 

  • I heard a member of Yes/Genesis/Rolling Stones played on the soundtrack?

    Matt Clifford, a British keyboard session player, who has performed with those bands, composed the unreleased score, heard in the background of the film.

  • Is there any video footage shot on set or a documentary?

          No, unfortunately. Just a gag reel.

  • Were any scenes cut?

         About twenty minutes worth of footage was. Too much to get into here.  Check out the VERSIONS Page or obtain the work print and see for yourself. There was no extra gore in it however.          

  • Why was Freddy's jacket blurred out in TV showings-what did it say?

    Fuck You. Seriously that's what it said.

    fuckyou.gif (16610 bytes)
  • Was there a TV version shot?

    Yes (but not finished). And a special jacket was made for that shoot. It said TV Version on the back. Again, no joke.
  • When was it ever shown on TV?

    HBO first ran it in October 1986. Cinemax aired it throughout summer 1987 after midnight only, trading it off with HBO throughout 1988 and 1989. USA Network aired it prime time for their Saturday Night Movie April 30th 1994 and May 16, 1996. 

    The Sci-Fi Channel aired the same print Sat. April 15, 1995 re-airing the film on May 16th at 8 P.M. USA’s Up All Night was next (Friday Oct. 25, 1996 and May 10, 1997). Linnea Quigley kept Joe Bob Briggs company when it was broadcast on TNT May 1, 1999 on Monstervision. His assessment: "Ten breasts. Two zombie breasts. 125 zombies. Nineteen dead bodies, plus fragments. Mummy dogs. One-half zombie dog. Ten gallons blood. Gratuitous embalming. Nekkid punk-rocker fondue. Gratuitous midget zombie. Torso S & M. Four stars. The greatest zombie comedy of all time."

    In the USA and TNT broadcasts, Freddy’s jacket, emblazoned with "Fuck You" in cursive, is blurred out. The version they used is the Hemdale Video reissue with the unknown music replacing The Damned’s "Dead Beat Dance" in the railroad scene. The stripdown scene is removed entirely for obvious reasons. In the scene where Ernie, Spider and Burt confer in the mortuary hall after speaking to the half corpse, the TV editors inserted the shot of the crematory firing up, as Burt describes burning them until there’s nothing left to come after them. Because of the violent clips which play under the end titles, they were re-formatted with white credits scrolling on a black background.

    The Movie Channel ran the DVD print (basically the Hemdale version) July 5, 2002. Mystery Channel picked it up the same year. George Romero even had to *acknowledge* and introduce it (he never likes to) when he was hosting Mystery's Scarathon 2004. He said "sounds like MY type of movie!"

  • What did TV Guides say about it?

    Return of the Living Dead (1985)
    R: Strong language, graphic
    violence. Famished and seemingly
    indestructible ghouls prey on humans.
    Burt: Clu Gulager. Frank: James Karen.
    (1 hr. 35 min.
    H H)

    Oddly, the film was rated THREE STARS in the TV Books of some of the nation's newspapers (in their movie captions) - then they deducted a star a few years later when they revised their ratings. One Guide gave it two and half stars. Also note the diminishing capsule size as TV Books got pressed for space.

    Return of the Living Dead
    H H H (1985, Horror) Clu
    Gulager, James Karen. Punk
    rockers and employees of
    Uneeda Medical Supply take note
    when cadavers rise up and go
    looking for brain food. (R)
    Violence. (1:30)

    Return of the Living Dead
    H H (85, Horror) Clu Gulager.
    Punk rockers, cremator and
    medical supply workers have
    zombie problem in Kentucky.
    R. (1:30)

    Return of the Living Dead
    (85, Horror) Clu Gulager.
    Medical workers confront
    zombies. R. (1:30)

  • MOVIE "Return of the Living Dead"
    (1985)Clu Gulager, James Karen. The accidental leakage of a toxic chemical into the Louisville, Ky. sky gives life to an army of brain-munching zombies. 'R'


  • If you say the UK cut is unedited, why is it 87 minutes instead of the full 91 minutes?

         Because PAL formats are projected about 3-4% faster. No cuts or extra scenes. 

  • I heard Vanity was on the soundtrack of some alternate cut?

      Not in the final print but in the work print, "Nasty Girl" was used as a temp track  in the scene where Trash strips.

  • Why did Dan O'Bannon call the company Uneeda?

      Diane O’Bannon says: It was a throwback to the days when businesses were Uneeda this or that; "You need a tire? Come to Uneeda Tires." .

  • Are there music [MTV] videos for "Partytime" or "Surfin' Dead"?

      No. The presskit reported there was a music video, but no one involved in the film recalls one. Plus I have the largest collection of privately owned music videos in the world (10,000), with the most obscure clips ever made for movies like Killer Klowns, Ghoulies II, Trick Or Treat, etc. and the collectors I have traded with have never seen one for ROTLD. That said, there is a Partytime video 45 Grave did in 1984 that I have.

  • Where can I get a ROTLD shirt/jacket/etc?

    Try www.ebay.com for used apparel which pops up every now and then but also  ask collectors or movie memorabilia dealers. 

  • Did John Russo have anything to do with the film other than the story? (or Why Was This Made?)

   No. The film gives story credit to Russ Streiner and Rudy Ricci as well. The three  originally worked on George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in 1968, and decided a few years later to write a treatment for a sequel they called Return of the Living Dead. Well, George had started working with other filmmakers and was planning his official Night sequel called Dawn of the Dead. So, Russo finished a novel and a script about flesh-eating zombies roaming the Pennsylvania countryside set ten years after the original "Night" and was looking to sell it. A new producer Tom Fox bought it and the title rights, anticipating a similar success to Romero’s independent smash Dawn of the Dead, backing it with his investor pals at Orion. He wanted Tobe Hooper to direct, after his work on Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist. Then Fox, aware that Romero was doing a new film (Day of the Dead), decided the script resembled his films too closely and needed a major rewrite. When Hooper committed to Lifeforce, and recommended a new director-Dan O’Bannon, a new script was born. Dan only used two elements from the original script: the name Burt Wilson. Everything else was his imagination. Russo then attached his name to the project again shortly before its release, novelizing O’Bannon’s script. Last names were invented by Russo, and a KGB subplot was thrown in, among other things. The filmmakers ignored this book in the posters, ads, etc. If you need to know how the details differed, read the Original Novel and Script Dept.

  • Wasn't there another movie called Return of the Living Dead at some point?

    Yes, a 1974 movie called 'Messiah of Evil' was retitled to ROTLD and subject to legal changes by George Romero and co. prior to the title rights purchase by Tom Fox.
  • So all skeletons really come from India?

      Most medical skeletons do. For example, Carolina Biological Company sells imported human bones    from India. At least at one time they did. More about this on the MGM DVD commentary.

  • Isn't Frank's last name "Nello", and Tina "Vitali", and Freddy "Travis", etc.?

That comes exclusively from Russo's novel which I disregard completely. Anyone who considers those last names as the actual last names have not seen the actual O'Bannon scripts where very few people are given last names. If fans think that lends authenticity to the film, fine, but they may as well accept the KGB subplot in Russo's universe too which along with other elements, makes the ROTLD novel even more lame. 

  • Why does Frank say "back in 1969..." to describe the original case that inspired Night of the Living Dead when the film came out in 1968?

     The original script reported the case as 1966. NOTLD began shooting in 1967 but didn't catch on as a cult film widely until 1969.  In production, Dan felt it would be better if Frank's facts sounded more unreliable, the way people really are, not remembering dates that well. Maybe the tanks came to the warehouse years after the fact. It was merely Frank's rough recollection.

  • How come Tar Man did not eat the brains of Frank and Freddy while they lay unconscious in the basement?

Probably because Tar Man and other such zombies want "live brains" and Frank and Freddy were dead on the floor from chemical poisoning.

  • What does that eye chart in the Uneeda office say?

    BURT IS A SLAVE DRIVER
    AND A CHEAP SON OF A BITCH... 
    (Previously I had been told by W. Stout that it was smart son of a bitch, and mean son of a bitch by another crew member. But as you can see the DVD is pretty reliable! Thanks to Nick at gutzngory.com who after painstaking work in Photoshop concluded that it finishes "..who's got me and you here.")

  • Why does the yellow cadaver have no blood?

      The blood is removed for less mess during medical dissection.

  • Why does the yellow cadaver put on weight all of a sudden when its head is chopped off?

        That is the *brilliant* work of Bill Munns, whose makeup work got him fired after that exact 'effect'.

       Is Darrow a real company?

Darrow is based on Dow Chemcial Company, a real organization. Herbert Dow started this company which is now the world's leader in agricultural and medicinal chemical development.

This logo based on the actual Dow logo (first used in 1919)

  • Is Trioxin really a chemical?

        Yes.

  • Serious?

Yes! The non 2,4,5 variety still has "deadly" uses: it's a mortician's restorative chemical (repairs cells and maintains the corpse's contours after postmortem tissue constriction). Another form of Trioxin is a dangerous by-product of industrial waste (tightly regulated by the EPA). It is related to dioxin, a  toxin found in Agent Orange, that causes birth defects. It is formed by burning chlorine based compounds by hydrocarbons.

triobot.bmp (75222 bytes)

  • How can zombies walk or run with rigor mortis?

Rigor mortis loosens up after a while like Ernie says. It actually does within a day so that the muscles are normal again. Plus a bottle of Trioxin helps to loosen up those tissues.

  • Why do the dead run anyway?

The decision to make them run was in keeping with the idea to make them as different from Romero’s as possible. Producers thought it was a bad idea initially  - but ultimately thought it worked best.

  • Why do the limbs still come after you?

It’s not their brains that are back to life, it’s all their nerves in every part of the body. It’s like when a headless chicken that still runs for a while. These zombies are super-charged. 

  • Why did Dan O’Bannon make the dead eat brains?

    Simply to distinguish them from Romero’s well-known flesh eating variety. When Fox and O’Bannon discussed making it different from the Romero films, they wanted to explain why they ate any human parts at all. Dan knew he had to make it seem as if Romero’s movies were telling their own story not the real story. Humans targeted the brains of the corpses in the Romero movies when the truth was human brains were the targets of the walking corpses. Dan figured that the brain, containing the central nervous control would be a logical meal – literally brain food, to keep these dead bodies wired. It would also make the film less viscerally gory.

  • Was it filmed in Sanibel Island, Florida?

No. This was a myth started by incorrect info submitted to International Movie Data Base (IMDB.com)...I believe it has since been corrected. Though it mostly takes place in Kentucky, it was shot entirely in California. Apparently someone confused the film with George Romero’s Day of the Dead which was partly lensed in Sanibel in 1984. 

  • How could anyone - let alone a dead person - destroy the metal or hardwood doors?

        The locker doors Tar Man pulls weren’t steel - they were lead. Likewise, the chapel doors were made of white pine - with painted veneers emulating finer woods..

  • Any significance to “Peck” seen on a building in the distance before in the railroad scene?

        According to Brian Peck and Bill Stout, this was pure coincidence.

  • Any significance to Hescox Waste Elimination, the sign on the gate near Uneeda?

        Hescox Waste Elimination - refers to Richard Hescox, an artist/colleague of William Stout‘s.

  • Any mishaps on the set? ?

        The second paramedics to arrive - the second one tackled - was injured during the tackle. He was sent to the hospital where they discovered his spleen was ruptured. After pushing through the attic, Thom Mathews split his head when the attic latch fell back down on him.

  • Is Burt Wilson’s name actually Bert and we’re wrong?

        William Stout wrote the note posted on the Uneeda door (about “no cash in safe after 5 PM“) when Tina first goes looking for Freddy. On the DVD commentary he admits he was in err, saying he was “in a hurry“.

  • On the 2007 commentary, William Stout says they shot in 1982. I thought it was 1984?

        Script was written in 1983. They shot it in 1984, Bill is mistaken.font>

  • What is the music heard in the mansion in the US version?

      "Für Elise" by Beethoven.  It is used differently in UK prints. Different music is on the MGM DVD.

  • What is the music heard in the railroad/Suicide car scene in the Hemdale video/MGM DVD?

     I’Thanks to Tony Gautier we have solved this one - it's by the hardcore band Straw Dogs, "Young Fast Iranians" (1985) appearing on Restless Records' Variations release. It was not one of the changes made or authorized by Dan O'Bannon for the DVD because the music was changed for home video as early as 1990, as it appears on the Hemdale Video version in 1991.

  • Is Ernie Kaltenbrunner really supposed to be a Nazi?

     Positively. Dan O'Bannon picked that name because it was a real person. The real Ernst Kaltenbrunner (b. 1903 in Austria) was an anti-semite relishing his rank as SS Chief of Intelligence between 1942-45. He supervised the Gestapo and concentration camps, endorsing the use of lethal gas to liquidate the Jews. He was captured by U.S. troops in 1945, indicted in Nuremberg trials for war crimes and sentenced to hanging in 1946.

ernst.jpg (40272 bytes)

  • What is the music Ernie is listening to on his Walkman?

     According to Don Calfa, it's "When the Panzers Go Rolling Along". The actual name is "Panzer Rollen in Afrika Vor", a Nazi anthem. Panzers are WWII-era tanks.  It was Dan O'Bannon's idea, and his tape. Here are the lyrics in German and English ( the third stanza is the one actually used in the film)

  • Why does Ernie say "No Burt, that's illegal!" when Frank and Freddy are brought into the mortuary?

    This is because the deceased are not meant to be viewed during embalming procedures by the public (or even the family in some restrictions). Burt was a friend so he was let in confidentially. Here's a question--why was the door to the mortuary embalming room open at all?  
  • What does Ernie say looking out the window as the rains come down?

      According to Don Calfa, "It’s coming down like es regnet in Stroemen" ("raining like cats and dogs").   In keeping with his character's heritage, actor Don Calfa threw this line in by doing a little research.  However, it doesn't sound like this is indeed the phrase! To my ears, it sounds like "it's coming down like an eindringend soldatisch" ('an infiltrating soldier or a soldierly penetrating'). However on the DVD subtitles are wrong: 'getrunken soldat' (drunk soldier).  "Eingetrunken" sounds better. It is definitely a Nazi reference. Yet another visitor to the site - this time an actual native of Germany  explains that if he uses correct German it would be: "it´s coming down like ein betrunkener soldat". (thanks to Slaytanic Thorsten for this)

  • Is Tar Man clothed?

     No. The corpse is naked and bald; it came from a morgue. He is not actually meant to be made of tar, those are shreds of flesh (hear DVD commentary). This fact makes the  tar men of the sequels particularly part 3 inaccurately depicted. The tar reference is from its original inspiration of the Tar men of Mexico.

  • The credits says that was a legless zombie - wasn’t that a midget zombie?

    It was intended to be a corpse who’s legs were either lost as it crawled out of the grave or lost in its human life. The actor was Jerome Coleman, who was born with a malformed arm and no legs. He won over the casting people with his enthusiastic audition - and also, he didn't mind putting real calf brains in his mouth!

  • Where did the embalmed corpse Ernie was working on go?

     Good one. This could be explained with a little common sense. Offscreen, Ernie removed the body before the medics arrived.

  • Has there been any ROTLD conventions? Cast reunions?

      Dan O’Bannon, Clu Gulager, James Karen, Jewel Shepard and Linnea Quigley appeared at the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in 1986. Media Home Entertainment released a 1987 video (M862) of this a year later. Gulager, Shepard and O’Bannon all appear on camera, and there are numerous glimpses of ROTLD shirts, pins and other paraphernalia. Quigley of course, became a convention fixture. A reunion was scheduled for January 2002 at a Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in New York with Karen, Quigley and Thom Mathews - who was the only one who showed up.  First annual Creepcon in Baltimore, MD June 9th saw the largest reunion: Karen, Quigley, Philbin, Calfa, Trautman and William Stout. Gulager couldn’t be reached, Mathews after the embarrassing FangoCon wanted no part, Randolph either, and Peck had work that weekend, Nunez  booked on a press tour for Juwanna Mann including an appearance on CNN's Talkback Live. Jewel Shepard had a problem last minute with the promoter and so did not go. She had helped the promoter contact Dan who also did not go, claiming he was afraid to fly.

  • Why did Trash come back as a zombie if she was attacked by numerous zombies?

    I believe she rises up near the angel monument which is not the same place she is attacked. Maybe she got away, injured, and wandered to another section of the graveyard where she really died. Or maybe she was left for dead while the dead followed the others.
  • Was Ernie thinking about murdering Tina in the attic?

       Apparently yes.

  • Hey, I found a mistake - why didn't Suicide revive as a zombie?

      I guess there wasn't much left of his brain or enough Trioxin around by that time. I wouldn't count that as a mistake but here are some other known mistakes other than anything aforementioned in this FAQ: 
- There’s no human way a six-foot man could have fit into one of the canisters without forcing the breaking of bones. 
- There’s a Civil War suited zombie who has never seen an ambulance let alone used a dispatch with a New York accent. 
- There should have not have left to revive of Trash's head with a mob of zombies; she looks too intact - There should have been a zombified transient later on (the one Trash attacks) - The sweat pools on Frank’s shirt change size just before the split dog discovery. 
- It is unlikely any bodies could crawl up from six feet under the ground, especially after being dead for so long and losing muscle fibers and ligaments.  
- The glue holding the phone cord to the console at Glover's mansion gives way in the last scene he is seen in near the end. 
- My favorite mistake: In the scene of the cop car racing out of the cemetery driven by Burt, when the car reverses, look for a camera operator (red light flickering) inside the passenger seat and his assistant in the backseat. How did anyone miss this in the theater??
-The gunnery sergeant firing the missile. No mention of where this scene is supposed to be. Given the location of the shoot was Los Angeles National Forest, and the original ending was supposed to be railroad cars in South Dakota, you would guess the West Coast somewhere right? Well, if it’s 5:05 A.M. EST in Kentucky and there is some sunlight already, then it would be at least 4:05 A.M. in Wichita, but the fact that there’s sunlight is a mistake. Also because there are no mountains in Kansas, it can’t be Wichita. Unless it was supposed to be 220 miles to the East Coast then it could be in the Appalachians or something…

        Was ROTLD going to be shot in 3-D?

     Yes, it was proposed.

  • Did ROTLD hurt Day of the Dead's box office showings?

      No but it caused minor confusion. Day hurt itself with no rating and minimal TV advertising. Although Day had just started shooting when Return was already basically in the can (Oct. 1984), Day wound up getting released BEFORE Return (July 1985). It was not released on one day, but rather a chain of dates whereas Return, being backed by major studio Orion, had one nationwide date in August. The critics generally favored Return, however the two films stayed clear of each other. The only incidence of both films "clashing" were in the Midwest areas when they were simultaneously released in late August. Return kept playing at midnight shows as Day saw release in the South and West in October. At the end of the year, Day had made close to $3 million and Return $5 million.* Another difference was Return was R rated, Day had no rating, which could have scared some people off. (* underreported box office tallies)

  • Did George Romero like or hate ROTLD?

      He has claimed in the past that the producers ripped off his friend John Russo.  When the film was released, he was often asked what he thought of it, and would say "no comment." Since then, often privately, he has said he actually enjoyed it.

  • Did Dan O’Bannon like or hate Day of the Dead?

    Dan has always been public about his admiration and respect for George Romero’s work. He has not compared his film to any of Romero’s other than pointing out differences. He is confident he has a better thrill ride than Day, that his film has more going for it than just a trained zombie and a few gut spills.
  • Was it up for any Academy awards?

          Yeah right. Actually, the closest thing to it, horror's Saturn awards although it didn't win any. In 1985, it was nominated for best horror film (Fright Night won; Day of the Dead not even nominated except for effects which it won). Return also was nominated for best effects (Bill Munns!!), James Karen best actor and O'Bannon for direction. They didn't win any though, losing to Michael J. Fox (Back To The Future) and Ron Howard (Cocoon).     

          Oh and don't ask for the sequels - they were overlooked deservingly.

  • Was George Romero going to produce ROTLD?

Yes. The executive producers of ROTLD attempted to contact him numerous times but gave up; Romero would not reply. He was committed artistically and professionally to his own Living Dead films.

  • Why were James Karen and Thom Mathews in part 2?

    And Colonel Glover (Jon Terry) too? They were asked, they thought it would be fun.
  • Why wasn't Don Calfa or Clu Gulager in part two?

       Clu moved on to other projects and wasn't asked back. Yes, he also wrote a treatment upon which parts of the sequel was based (uncredited). He auditioned for the role of the Doc but didn't get the part (!) Brian Peck was the only part one actor in all three ROTLD films.

  • Is it true that someone died from the cast?

     Yes. Cast member obituaries: Derrick Brice (d. 6-5-87) - Gunnery Sgt., David Bond (d. 4-16-89) - Send More Cops zombie, Mark Venturini (d. 2-14-96) - Suicide, Cathleen Cordell (d. 8-19-97) - Ethel Glover, Paul Cloud (d. 11-29-87) - Cop> Also producer Tom Fox (7-04), Dan O'Bannon (12-09).

  • How did you first see ROTLD?

     I saw it as a youth at the theatre. Scared the hell out of me more than Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, which really didn't affect me as much as other zombie films. I just loved the back story and the visuals and tone of ROTLD. It just brought a nastiness and a whole new approach to zombies.

          What kind of car is Suicide's?

A 1960 Cadillac Eldorado.

  • How did you acquire so much merchandise... or are those scans from other places like ebay?

     I own 98% of the collectibles pictured on the site. I have a scrapbook of stills and many of the rarities on the site like the puzzle, Tar Man painting, French door poster, etc. I have been collecting the film since 1986.  

  • What are the rarest items?

      Any of these Japanese items (LP, Tar Man poster, storyboard postcards)...any foreign lobby card sets, French door panels....promo items like the crawling hand, puzzle, or the barf bag. By comparison, these things are not rare: standee, buttons, US picture discs, press kits, CDs, advance posters, etc. The laserdisc was discontinued after only a year so that is somewhat of a find only now they are turning up due to the videophiles buying the DVD.

  • Does your soundtrack LP say "You've Got To Let Me Eat Your Brains" on the lower spine?

        Yes. All the US LPs do, and the outer part of the LP label has a message carved in the vinyl on both sides as well.

  • Will you ever add to the site detailing the sequels?

       Not until a good sequel is made.

  • What was the catalog seen in the film that Freddy looked through?
  •          It is seen on collectorsquest.com and mentioned on the Miscellaneous section here. 

    • I saw a comedy with Clu Gulager and James Karen about ten years ago...what is it?

            It's called "The Willies" and was directed by Brian Peck ('Scuz').

    • I saw a comedy with Don Calfa and Linnea Quigley in the 80's...what was it?

      "Treasure of the Moon Goddess."

    • What other movies has the cast done/where are they now?

      Clu Gulager is currently making independent films himself like Fucking Tulsa with his family’s film company. James Karen and Don Calfa are still in show biz. And in 2002, Calfa will appear in When the Screaming Stopped with Linnea Quigley. Miguel Nuñez continued on with television work through the 80’s and 90’s, was recently in Juwanna Mann, and Jewel Shepard became a writer for Premiere magazine. Brian Peck is an acting coach (works with children and young actors mainly). He has the distinction of being the only actor in all three ROTLD films. And of related interest, he wrote and directed a comedy called The Willies (1991) which starred his old friends Karen and Gulager.

    • James Karen used to do commercials for a supermarket before?

      Yes, the veteran actor did in fact for NY area markets Pathmark. Here's a vidcap from one of them from 1982.

      jimpathmark.gif (23235 bytes)

    • Is this movie a true story?

            Yes. "There have been sworn affidavits…" Plus Dan admits it is on the MGM DVD.

    • So there’s really a Uneeda Medical Supply?

            No. There was a Uneeda.

           I get a few emails time to time on how to find it. Actually here's the building now so you can save a trip:

     
     (Thanks to Nick for the shots.)

    • Where can I buy a split dog?

            Go to the local supermarket. Buy some Oscar Meyer weiners. Leave them in  the oven at 500. 

    (the real ones aren't for sale...)

    Copyright 2002 Trioxin5