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2005, dir. Ellroy Elkayem
90 min, Rated R.
Starring: Whoever was left over from part 4.

Review by Beth Van Dusen

Our tasteful and discerning friends at The Sci-Fi Channel are back with another installment of The Return of the Living Dead series. Anybody who isnít up to speed on the history of this twenty-year old franchise should stop by my review of Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis before venturing further if you donít want to end up totally confused. But given the nature of this movie, youíll probably end up more than totally confused anyway.

A few of the kids from Necropolis managed to make it out alive. Our hero Julian, the nerdy girl (who is cool now because she doesnít wear glasses anymore,) and the black guy are college students. And I must pause here for a moment to gripe about something. I didnít really notice it so much during the last movie, but after four hours of looking at this tool shed of a "hero" I had to wonder. Why the hell do you give your leading man a name like Julian? If Merchant-Ivory were to make a zombie movie then you might expect to see a guy named Julian. All he has to do is look sad, drink tea, and get eaten. But this is low-budget zombie trash! I donít want a hero named Julian, I want Joe Kickass to come and save the day. With a name like Julian you know that even if he does survive long enough to save the girl he'll just end up being "good friends" with her because his name is fucking Julian!

Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. Back to the movie.

Julian (snicker) finds some strange tanks in his recently deceased uncleís attic. Rather than call someone with an I.Q. over 100 for advice he decides to take one to his friend, the black guy. Now despite the fact that all of these morons have seen some weird zombie shit go down very recently they decide that the tank must be safe and start draining fluid from it. The tests on the fluid reveal it to be similar in chemical composition to ecstasy. The black guy and some new lame ass raver characters decide to make some money off the free schmutz that has fallen into their laps, and sell it as the latest party drug. Only much later do they find out that ingesting even a drop of this mysterious green goo will eventually turn you into a zombie. If thereís supposed to be a message in this movie then Iím guessing that weíve found it. The new drug, called "Z" by the creepy eastern European drug dealer who distributes it for them causes spasms (ramped up to be funny, but aren't) and hallucinations that are realistic enough to let you know that everybody in charge of this film is high. Soon half the kids on campus are turning on, tuning in, and dropping out with Z. I donít know who they got to do their marketing, but he must have been brilliant. "Hey guys, want to try this new drug made from some crap we found in a weird tank?"

Strangely, none of the kids who survived from the last movie are able to recognize that their classmates are turning into zombies until itís too late. I donít care how close to Halloween it is, if I narrowly escape a zombie outbreak I'm carrying a machete around campus and going for a head shot on anyone that moves too slowly. Iíll apologize to Todd and Randy later if I'm wrong. It would be a pretty short movie if our heroes were that smart, though. They instead decide to spend Halloween night at a rave where hundreds of other stupid kids will be taking their fancy new drug. Lo and behold, everyone starts turning into zombies! Bad techno music, wasted college burnouts, and flesh eating zombies. If you ever wanted to know what hell was going to be like then just watch this movie. At some point during the thirty minute rave sequence you'll wind up envying the kids who get their heads bitten off. At least theyíre finally free of this crap. The rest of us have to endure another 15 minutes of assholes with glow sticks before we can finally rest in peace.

On the plus side, this is all great if you hate ravers. Especially the kind of ravers who donít realize that raves died out in the mid-nineties. At least, they should have. The sort of idiots who would still go to this kind of thing fully deserve to get eaten. And eaten they do get. The zombie makeup still sucks, but you do get a whole lot of that lovely brain-crushing sound as zombie ravers (the dead kind) go to town on the heads of other zombie ravers (the kind that arenít dead yet, but might as well be.) I thought Iíd hit bottom with Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis, but it seems that you can always sink a little lower. Watching Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave will make you feel just like you were on a hit of "Z": wondering what the hell is going on, how the hell you got there, and waiting to die.

Rating: One out of five Brains.


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