Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave (2007)
Directed by Ellory Elkayem

Starring Aimee-Lynn Chadwick Peter Coyote

Yet another dreadfully, horrifically, painfully disappointing sequel that pays tribute to the original, but once again fails as a believable continuation because in the new direct-to-video ROTLD movies, the zombies can be killed by a shot the head.

At this point in the tired franchise, seeing the zombies say "brains" just feels like such a stupid cliche, you realize it's really time for them to hang it up. The ROTLD series is dead and there's no reason to re-animate.

Apparently desperate-for-work Peter Coyote is back as a mad scientist selling the toxic waste-container stuff that reanimates the dead. In the opening scene, an attempted transaction with some European thugs goes dreadfully wrong when a reanimated corpse starts killing people.

Some teens at an American high school stumble across some leftover canisters of the stuff, and discover that it can be used as an ecstasy-like drug. It swiftly takes over the community as a popular narcotic, making the movie feel a bit like an after-school special until some of the drug users drop off and transform into brain-eating zombies. The drug is called "Z" because of the zombie-like effects it has on people.

The film is hardly a sequel to the last entry because, even though the cast is roughly the same, they don't seem to remember the events from the previous movie. They're surprised at the site of a zombie. (Most likely, the same cast was brought on board because they shot the films back to back with no need for any semblance of continuity.) There is some nice gore in the film and, of course, a zombie outbreak at a rave part at the end of the movie. But by the time you hear the 10th zombie cry "brains" you'll want to throw the DVD out your window. This series is done, done, done.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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