Return Of The Living Dead: Rave To The Grave (2005)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Genres / Traits: Horror, Horror Comedy, Zombie Film, Halloween
A college student creates a drug called "Z" and sells it on campus, inadvertently resurrecting the living dead, who wreak havoc at a Halloween rave. --IMDb
Ellory Elkayem Ellory Elkayem
Aimee-Lynn Chadwick Aimee-Lynn Chadwick
Cory Hardrict Cory Hardrict
John Keefe John Keefe
Jenny Mollen Jenny Mollen
Peter Coyote Peter Coyote
Movie Connections:
The Return Of The Living Dead
> The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)
> Return Of The Living Dead 2 (1988)
> Return Of The Living Dead 3 (1993)
> Return Of The Living Dead: Necropolis (2005)
> Return Of The Living Dead: Rave... (2005)
> More Brains!: A Return To The... (2011)

3.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: March 25, 2007
I'm a glutton for punishment sometimes, I swear. Last year, I reviewed Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis and said: "There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this piece of garbage, and I feel as though I need to take a long, hot shower after watching it. 0/10." Ellory Elkayem was responsible for that movie as well as Rave to the Grave, as he shot both of them back-to-back in Romania a couple of years ago. I knew this, and yet - even after seeing how much he butchered the series with his last "sequel" - I still tracked down a copy of his next entry bright and early on release day.

The plot: a group of college kids - Julian (John Keefe), Becky (Aimee-Lynn Chadwick), and Cody (Cory Hardrict) - find a couple barrels of 245-Trioxin, the infamous chemical that will turn the dead into flesh-hungry zombies. Instead of turning it over to the authorities or giving it to the shady Interpol guys who poke around asking for it (since, you know, Julian saw what it does in the previous movie), the trio decide to use it to manufacture a new drug not unlike Ecstasy which they dub "Z" as in "Zombie." There's a big Halloween rave party coming up, and wouldn't you know it: when the party rolls around, everyone in attendance is popping these pills. Gee, I wonder what will happen?

Where to even start with this one. I suppose that I could say that it actually turned out to be better than the previous entry, but that'd be akin to telling you readers how getting kicked in the balls is better than being anally violated by a rabid dog. Neither option sounds like an optimal way to spend a Saturday night, but given the choice, I think that I'd probably be bracing myself for a solid kick to the groin. Yes, thanks to some decent effects in spots and plenty of T&A, this one does trump Necropolis, but you have to ask yourself: am I willing to find myself curled up in the fetal position for a few glimpses of goodness?

My main beef with the film is the way that it was turned into a horror-comedy rather than a straight-forward horror. Now, I'm fully aware that the first three films had a bit of humor mixed in, but aside from Part 2, they never really strayed too far away from the horror side of things. That's not the case here, as every other scene contains some sort of joke that I'm sure looked good on paper, but made me nauseous when I saw it on my television screen. Taunting a zombified pizza guy about slow delivery speeds? Watching a zombie attempt to hitchhike to the party? Zombie fart jokes? Interpol agents decked out in female viking costumes saving the day? Did a twelve-year-old write this script? It probably wouldn't have been so bad had some of this stuff been funny or at least moderately humorous, but I never cracked so much as a grin from start to finish.

I could have overlooked that had the movie had something else going on for it, but that wasn't the case either. True, there are a few decent zombies and gore sequences, but I could probably count the quality shots on one hand. Everything else is highly-forgettable and obviously inserted only to pad the running time out to an even ninety minutes; the film ends at 1:29:45, but this story could have been easily been told in thirty minutes or less. I can just see it now: "Well, we have about fifty minutes of footage, what now?" "I dunno, find a few girls to show their tits or something." "Alright, that brings us up to sixty minutes - any more ideas?" "Don't we have a couple of cheerleader outfits left over from that last movie? Go find some girls to wear those and film it."

There's a wide variety of zombie movies that, while not bringing anything new to the table and / or having horrible effects, still manage to entertain for whatever reason. Then there's zombie movies that are awful, but they're still enjoyable in that "so bad it's good" sort of way. Don't let the neat cover and the Return of the Living Dead title fool you: Rave to the Grave is just plain bad. 2/10.
Tristan #1: Tristan - added 03/25/2007, 12:57 AM
A fifth? They really need to give it up.
Edd #2: Edd - added 03/28/2007, 12:56 PM
I am having a really hard time that anyone with any formal education would greenlight this film. It was GOD FUCKING AWFUL.
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