More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead (2011)

While this 2011 documentary into the 1985 horror-comedy classic is definitely as-billed (i.e. it surely is “the definitive documentary” on the film), it’s hard not to notice that the running time is staggeringly long for a behind-the-scenes documentary, in fact it’s even longer than the film it’s discussing. That leads to several unnecessary diversions and long-winded stories among the cast and crew that amount to “you had to be there”, but that isn’t to say there isn’t plenty to enjoy here. Both James Karen and Clu Gulager give engaging talking-head interviews, while many tales of the various woes that arise during the shooting of a low-budget genre offering are deeply fascinating. It’s just that there’s an over-abundance of representation for the film, many of them offering little insight, while there’s a tendency to overlook or downplay the enormously problematic behavior of its late director Dan O’Bannon, who comes across as an abusive bully.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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