DVD Review: Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave
By Jeff Swindoll Apr 11, 2007, 14:00 GMT
Julian and his few friends that actually managed to escape Necropolis have all enrolled in college and are trying to put their experiences with Hybratech behind them forever. Soon after, Jenny and Julian find a strange chemical container in a hidden room. In an effort to find out what this chemical, labeled as Trioxyin-5 is, they take it to their friend Cody for screening. However, Cody soon finds a way ...more
Those pesky living dead zombies return for another go round, though this time their budget appears to have lessened. Though what they lack in funds they make up for with a few jokes.
From the back of the box:
“A college student finds a canister in his uncle’s attic that contains a drug more potent the Ecstasy. When the drug nicknamed “Z” for its Zombie-like hallucinogenic effects, reaches unscrupulous drug dealer Skeet, he hatches a plan to sell the drug to ravers, attending the ultimate rave party. But when the drug’s side effects start to kick in, the ultimate rave turns into the ultimate grave as partygoers drop to their death…then rise again to feed!”
Rave to the Grave is the fifth in line of the sequels to the first Return of the Living Dead. It was shot back to back with the fourth sequel Necropolis and uses the main cast over again. Both films were shot in the Ukraine and Romania. I can’t say that I’ve watched Necropolis, but from what I’ve heard the characters seemingly don’t recall that they’ve encountered zombies before.
Otherwise they’d know when they encounter a large drum of Trioxin they’d run the other way. However, since they’re memories have been erased they don’t exactly mind using the drum of toxic goop to brew up a narcotic that’ll get you high but will also turn you into a brain craving zombie.
Peter Coyote plays Uncle Charles and drops out of the proceedings pretty early on. He overacts terribly and I would’ve thought more out of an actor of his caliber even in such a silly movie. As soon as his scene in over if they would’ve left the microphone on they’d probably heard “where’s my paycheck and when’s the next flight out of here?” Besides Coyote, Aimee-Lynn Chadwick (Becky), Cory Hardrict (Cody), and John Keefe (Julian) return with the same character names although they don’t seem to recall the terrors of the other film.
Though this might’ve been intentional (well besides the potential monetary gains of hiring the same actors for two movies, but I’m unsure about any gains from it) since Return of the Living Dead, Part II featured two characters that were in the first one but didn’t seem to know about the first film (especially since they didn’t make it to the end of it). The film has a strange sense of fun about it since it relies on both intentional and perhaps unintentional humor. Some of the intentional – a vegetarian human becomes a flesh craving zombie and the familiar zombie refrain of “Brains!”
Some of the unintentional – the locations that are obviously more Romanian/Ukrainian than the U.S. There’s a duo of “men in black” that are used for comic relief. I applaud that fact that the film is a comedy and that takes some of the sting off of the low budget proceedings but it still is not exactly the best film in the “Living Dead” series.
Rave to the Grave is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Special features include a collection of trailers for other Lionsgate DVDs.
Definitely not exactly the best sequel in the mix, but the bits of comedy make it a bit more palatable. However, it still really isn’t a very good movie. If you liked Necropolis then you might want to give this one a spin.