The Return of the Living Dead is a 1985 American film written and directed by Dan O'Bannon, and starring Clu Gulager, James Karen, Thom Matthews and Don Calfa. The film tells the story of how a warehouse owner; accompanied by his two employees, mortician friend, and a group of teenage punks, deal with the accidental release of a horde of brain-hungry zombies onto an unsuspecting town.
The film, described as a "mordant punk comedy", is known for introducing the popular concept of zombies eating brains, as opposed to eating human flesh, like previous zombie iterations. It is also known as being the first film to ever show zombies being able to run, as well as zombies being able to speak. The film is also quite unique from virtually all other cinematic depictions of the living dead; in that the zombies portrayed within the film, cannot be killed by a standard "head shot", or by any other means apart from utter destruction by incineration (which has serious consequences), or by being totally dissolved in caustic acid.
The film is also notable for its soundtrack, which features several legendary Los Angeles based deathrock and punk rock bands of the era. The film was a critical success and performed moderately well at the box office. Its enduring popularity has spawned four sequels and turned it into a cult classic.