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More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead (Bill Philputt, 2011) Review

More Brains!By Jason Lees, MoreHorror.com

I love movies. I love watching them. I love reading about them. I love talking about them. I love learning about them. I’m the reason they put special features on DVDs, and I’m the jerk that always goes ‘shhhhhh…’ behind you in the theater. Yea, I’m that guy. The way some guys are with quarterbacks and baseball stats, I’m that way with film directors and movie trivia. I’m the idiot who will buy multiple versions of the same movie if they have different documentaries on them. I’m the genius who has four versions of EVIL DEAD and half a dozen HALLOWEENs.

And, yes, I’m the reason that someone went out and made MORE BRAINS! A RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, the documentary about the most fun zombie franchise ever put on film. I love my Romero, and I have considerable skin dedicated to his DEAD series, but the punk zombies in the Dan O’Bannon film have always held a special place in my black and bleeding little heart.

RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD never really got the love it deserved. It was never going to get the respect of the Romero films (but what could) and it was a little too punk to really want that respect. What it did, however, was sneak into the mainstream consciousness with such sly skill that most don’t even know it exists, but yet endlessly quote it. When your neighbor’s little kid stretches out his arms and does a zombie walk while moaning ‘brains…’, he ain’t quoting 28 DAYS LATER. Nope, the brain brunch is first and foremost a Dan O’Bannon device. And that goes for the running vs slow zombie debate. Danny Boyle and Zach Snyder get blamed for starting that, but again, it was RETURN that had sprinting undead. And it was so much fun, back then NO ONE complained. Hell, the zombies even get the best dialogue, something that is a strict no no today.

So, with all this love worthiness abound for the flick, why didn’t anyone make some face time for it before now? Even the older dvd releases barely scratched the surface of the story behind the movie. It took years and some serious uphill battling to get this made, and I want to share that love and put a big spotlight on Bill Philputt and everyone involved in this docu for sharing this piece with all of us. “More Brains!” is more than just a puff piece. Here, we get some real dirt and some honest to God uncovered photos that even I’ve never seen before. (That’s not me bragging, I’m just that much of a geek for this stuff) It’s a special kind of film buff that goes this deep into any movie, let alone a borderline obscure flick like this.

On behalf of all RETURN fans out there, thank you, guys. Thank you for spotlighting one of the greats. Thank you for shedding some light. And thank you for leaving out Parts 4 and 5.

Maybe that’s why it’s called “More Brains!”

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