Reason being it’s simply one of the first successful zombie comedies mixing both originality and humor in an enjoyable and entertaining movie.
Set in medical supply company in a small city in Kentucky two employees accidentally release a toxic gas into the air which cause the dead to re-animate. The gas is of course a product of US Army Experiments sealed off in oil drums along with the corpses they contained from the orginal Night of the Living Dead events (claiming this events were actually true). Having inhaled the chemicals the employees faint and when they wake-up some time later they discover that the corpse in the refrigerated chamber has been reanimated while being contaminated by the virus themselves.
This setup is the basis a zombie outbreak where all hell breaks loose but also one which introduces 3 interesting concepts in the depection of the zombies:
- The hunger for the favorite food brains (not for human flesh). So whenever you someone say "Braiiinzzzz" - that is where it all started.
- It introduces the concept of fast zombies. That is zombies who can run, jump and collaborate and long before the `28 Days Later' was released.
- Zombies with intelligence. The zombies who can talk, think and solve problems as they for instance trick more victims by having more caps dispatched to an organized ambush.
"Return of the Living Dead" elegantly mixes good black humor with bloody and messy gore with a great cast and a snappy quotable dialogue while also introducing the first “super zombie” concept.
A fun trivia note found on IMDB is the fact that the film's German title is "Verdammt, die Zombies kommen", which is roughly "Oh Crap, the Zombies Are Coming" and the original Danish title which is "Ligene er ligeglade" meaning "The Dead Don't Care".