Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave (2005)

Return of the Living Dead 4 and 5 were filmed back to back, and so, after having my expectations raised by the joyousness of Necropolis, I was more than prepared to love this movie. Unfortunately, Rave to the Grave isn't quite as good as its predecessor... but it is lots of fun nonetheless.

The survivors of Necropolis are back, and so are the barrel zombies. The kids have made new friends, and so have the barrels: the line up this time includes a new hot girl, a new drug dealer, and a completely irritating DJ, as well as two brilliantly inept Russians hoping to retrieve the zombie barrels in order to be rewarded with "a crate of Kristal and a trip to EuroDisney." The set up this time does away with government officials: somehow, one of the kids has discovered that the gooey contents of the zombie barrels have very similar properties to ecstasy, and managed to extract it and package it in pill form. With a Hallowe'en rave looming on the horizon, it's not hard to see what'll happen... and sure enough, before long everyone's popping "Z" and turning into zombies.

The kids who managed to live through Necropolis must have had some kind of bump on the head, because they take a startlingly long time to realise what's going on, even when confronted with chalky-faced former friends yelling "braaaaains!" at them. Once they do, though, some of the most inventive fight scenes ever committed to film ensue. As with Necropolis, the dialogue is funny, the kids spirited, and the action fast-paced. It's difficult to put a finger on quite what's missing (except, maybe, the initial expectation that the film will be terrible) and Rave to the Grave is certainly a decent addition to zombie canon.

That image of the gooey zombie standing on the edge of the road holding a crayoned sign reading "Rave or bust" (with some of the letters reversed) is pretty damned iconic-looking, too.

IMDB link

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