On some weird level movies like this almost cannot help but be enjoyable.
The effects. The story. The Acting. Difficulty in making the movie play.
Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave begins with Charles Garrison (Peter Coyote; yes, I was wondering what he was doing in this movie myself!) trying to sell a pair of canisters to some Russians. Apparently, the canisters contain a potion that they need for some malevolent purposes. Things go wrong (as they often do) and in experimenting with some corpses, they turn into flesh eating zombies. Later Julian Garrison (John Keefe) discovers the canister in his now dead Uncle's attic, and in trying to figure out what the content inside is, said contents unwitting get it into the hands of a drug dealer named Skeet (Catalin Paraschiv). Skeet sells the contents of the canisters to some unsuspecting ravers, and suddenly what is supposed to be the ultimate party turns into the ultimate bloodbath.
None came with this DVD.
Widescreen. 16x9 - 1.78:1 DVD Screen Format. This film didn't seem like it had any particular vision behind it's look. In some ways I think that's good because it didn't play like so many horror films do today. It was fairly straight forward and just presented the story and the reasons for why people were suddenly becoming flesh eating zombies. That stated, this movie couldn't help but look a little low rent. It seemed like there was just enough money to shoot this movie and create the effects and beyond that everything else just felt sterile. Also, do the Zombie's have to move with such gusto? They used to be dead for crying out loud!
Dolby Surround. If there had been a semi decent soundtrack to this film, I feel that that could have made the sound stand out more. Aside from wooden dialogue, the sound seemed sterile. I am not asking for much. I don't have the greatest system with which to view DVDs, I just wish that there had been something about this film that felt inspired. I happen to love horror movies (good or bad), and while I can't say that this was god-awful, for many reasons I can't say that it was good. The sound is fine it just doesn't stand out in any way.
This cover alone should sell a bunch of DVDs. A barely dressed redhead (whose face we can't see) is on her hands and knees, around a Nuclear-looking symbol that seems to have been painted in blood. On the back of this release there are some cool looking shots of the zombies, as well as some more pictures from this movie. There is short description, a cast list, and some technical specs as well.
I knew going into this movie that it probably wasn't going to be that great. I can't really pinpoint what makes a great horror movie, other than that the really good ones (Halloween, for example) seem to show us things or worlds that are right in front of our eyes. Sadly, Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave doesn't attempt to do that in any way shape or form. It seems like merely an excuse to raise some money, shoot a gorefest, and then recoup such monies in foreign sales and on DVD in the US. This doesn't make this DVD bad in and of itself, it's merely all of the combined elements that show just how much this film is truly lacking.
Not shying away from any tired cliches, stereotypes or anything else that often befalls these films, Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave, isn't very good but I don't know that the audience for these movies expects it to be.
Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave was released October 15, 2005.