Return of the Living Dead 5:

 Rave to the Grave


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I'm not really sure why some things happened in this movie because the narrative doesn't take the time to flash back to the story's development in the previous four films.  The filmmakers undoubtedly felt that such a recap would be unnecessary because ... well, because nobody would be stupid enough to watch a film called Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave unless they were already rabid fans of the series. They were wrong. I guess I showed them a thing or two because, by God, I am that stupid!

What can I tell you? I'm just the kind of devil-may-care moron who will jump into an unfamiliar swimmin' hole without checking it out in advance. I'm too dense to be afraid of the unknown. I even watched Anal Addicts 18 without having picked up all the nuances and plot twists which were developed in 13-17.

Anyway, as near as I can tell, the plot of Rave to the Grave goes a little something like this:

Several industrial drums of a top secret substance are floating around. When ingested in large quantities, this substance turns humans into brain-eating zombies, but when taken in small doses it can be a powerful hallucinogenic. Crossing over to zombie status is obviously not desirable, but getting to the brink and pulling back appears to be the ultimate high. Some teenagers find one of the canisters and the resident science nerd analyzes it and figures out that it is very similar to Ecstasy. The science guy's best friend is the drug dealer guy (isn't that always the way?), who immediately realizes how the chemical potential can be converted to financial potential.

Their home-made drugs basically all end up being passed around at a Halloween rave, where the uninhibited ravers take them with abandon, in quantities so large that many partygoers pass the point of "at the doorway of the living dead" and actually become brain-craving zombies. Raves and Halloween being what they are, it's really not possible to distinguish zombie lunatics from ordinary lunatics dressed like zombies for Halloween, so a fair share of brains are consumed until the party goes from pretending to be out of control to being out of control for real.

The film is played strictly for low-brow laughs, especially by two bumbling Russian agents who want to recover the missing canisters for their own motherland, in the hope that the senior Russian authorities will reward them with free trips to Euro Disney. The heavily armed Russians go to the rave and, assisted by a few of the teens, end up blasting away virtually everyone there until ...

Dude, do you need a review? How good could it be? It was made in Romania for the Sci-Fi channel and is rated 2.7 at IMDb after more than 1000 votes. The cast consists almost entirely of unknowns, although Peter Coyote makes an unexpected appearance in the opening scene. Your heart has to go out to Coyote for having to accept a tiny role in a cheesy project like this after once having worked with Spielberg, Polanski and Road Runner.

I guess there might actually be circumstances in which one might want to watch this film. One might be hooked on the series, or one might want to be the second person stupid enough to watch a film called Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave without having seen all of the previous ones. I would assume that anyone in one or both of those two groups is incapable of reading these or any other words, so it seems safe to tell you readers to avoid it.

In the unlikely event that I am wrong, and that you are in one of those target groups and also capable of recognizing written languages, I have to admit that the film did provide me with some entertainment, although I fast-forwarded through a lot of really dumb stuff. I even laughed out loud a couple of times. For example, while the zombie students bite most of their fellow students in the head, they bite the cheerleaders ... well ... elsewhere.

Maybe you had to be there.

At any rate, the film is probably a bit better than I'm leading you to believe. It's technically competent, has a pretty good score, and is fairly well acted. It also offers plenty of brief flashes of breasts from anonymous zombies and partiers. Granted that is not much of a recommendation, but if that's enough for you ... party on, dudes.


* widescreen anamorphic








Although no major sources have reviewed the film, it has been reviewed by more than two dozen genre specialists, and those are linked from the IMDb page.




2.7 IMDB summary (of 10)





Made for the Sci-Fi channel.





  • There are about a half dozen scenes which show naked partiers or zombies. None of the actresses can be identified from the credits.





Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


Not recommended.

Although it is not painful to watch, this film  is really only for die-hard series completists.