Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis (2005)

3.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 5/10

Some good zombie deaths

Doesn't live up to the original films

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Return of the Living Dead:  Necropolis

Studio:  Denholm Trading Inc.

Genre(s):  Horror/Comedy

Release Date(s):  May 14, 2005 (Cannes Film Festival)/October 15, 2005 (TV Premiere)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated



Hybra Tech is the leader in zombie clean-up…unfortunately, Charles Garrison (Peter Coyote) is experimenting with the zombie creating gas Trioxin.  When Zeke (Elvin Dandel) is injured in a riding accident, Garrison’s nephew Julian (John Keefe) and his friends learn that he’s been transported to Hybra Tech.  Now, Julian and his friends are raiding Hybra Tech and discovering Garrison’s real plans for Trioxin.

Directed by William Butler and Aaron Strongoni, Return of the Living Dead:  Necropolis was originally titled Return of the Living Dead 4:  Necropolis until its release.  Following Return of the Living Dead 3 in 1993, the movie first aired on the Sci-Fi Channel but then had a regular DVD version was released in 2006.

The first Return of the Living Dead was a revelation…a horror comedy that changed how zombies were view.  The second was still entertaining, but less so and by this film, most of the magic of the fun of the originals is gone.


Nothing is cuter than the first smile on a test tube zombie baby’s face

While the first film was a B-Movie style film that actually was more of a parody of B-Movies, this movie really is a B-Movie.  The plot of the movie is typical B-Movie fodder with “cool kids” encountering zombies…but none of these kids seem very cool and it takes far too long for the zombie action to start happening.

There was criticism that the movie lost nature of the zombies from the first films by having them killable (destroy the brain).  Some have attributed this to the fact that the chemical isn’t just Trioxin but Trioxin-5…Return of the Living Dead junkies have said this is why the zombies are pretty weak.

The movie’s cast like the zombies are very weak.  Peter Coyote used to be a respected actor.  Here, like most of the cast, he’s just a parody.  He has leering smiles and totally overacts everything…the only cast member not overacting is the zombies.


Dead or alive…you’re coming with me…so I can eat your BRAINS!!!

The visuals still are quite good at points.  It is hard to screw up zombies and fortunately this movie didn’t do that.  While the original films were far more humorous, most of this movie’s humor comes from zombies doing things like fighting and the Robocop zombies created by Hybra Tech…which I guess weren’t intentionally funny.

Return of the Living Dead:  Necropolis isn’t the best zombie movie you’ll see and a pretty poor excuse for a Return of the Living Dead film.  With zombies flooding the market, you can do better.  Return of the Living Dead:  Necropolis was followed by a direct sequel Return of the Living Dead:  Rave to the Grave in 2005.

Related Links:

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:  Rave to the Grave (2005)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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