In 1985, The Return of the Living Dead made its cinematic debut. The film – created as a loose sequel to George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead – was a hit with audiences and led to a series of movies.

But how many Return of the Living Dead movies are there? What is the best order to watch them in? And more importantly, what the heck do The Return of the Living Dead films have to do with George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead?

Read on for details…

Advertisements

_____

The Night of the Living Dead/Return of the Living Dead connection

Before I discuss the best viewing order for The Return of the Living Dead movies, I need to explain what this film series is and how it connects to Night of the Living Dead – the iconic zombie horror film from 1968.

In ’68, Night of the Living Dead was released in cinemas, with George A. Romero as the director and co-writer of the picture, and John A. Russo as the other co-writer. Night of the Living Dead was a hit with audiences and would eventually spawn a successful series of movies, with Romero directing six entries between 1968 and 2009.

Separate to these films, Russo wrote a novel called The Return of the Living Dead which was developed into a 1985 zombie movie, not connected to what Romero was doing with his series. However, in its story, The Return of the Living Dead suggested that the events of Night of the Living Dead were real, meaning this film was a sort-of follow-on from the ’68 film (albeit very loosely).

Moving forward, The Return of the Living Dead then spawned a collection of sequels, which developed its own zombie universe, and branched further away from the Night of the Living Dead connection.

So, the Night of the Living Dead films and The Return of the Living Dead series are separate universes. There is a loose link, but you don’t need to have seen Night of the Living Dead to watch The Return of the Living Dead series.

Got it? Good!

Advertisements

_____

The Return of the Living Dead movies in order

Image: ©Orion Pictures/MGM

As noted above, the first entry in the series was 1985’s The Return of the Living Dead. The horror film was a hit with audiences and critics and led to a sequel, 1988’s Return of the Living Dead Part II.

A second sequel arrived in 1993, appropriately titled Return of the Living Dead 3. This was followed by two additional sequels in 2005: Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis and Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave.

If you wish to watch all of the films in the Living Dead series in order, then use the following list:

  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
  • Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988)
  • Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993)
  • Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis (2005)
  • Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave (2005)

_____

I hope this information about The Return of the Living Dead film series has proved useful. If you wish to know about George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead movie series, then click on the highlighted link.

For details about other long-running movie series, please check out one of the recommended reads below.

Read more:

Advertisements