Robin Campillo's ground-breaking 2004 film, Les revenants (called They Came Back in its international English title), and now returning again, under the same French name, Les Revenants, in the often stunning, if eventually flawed French TV series, THE RETURNED, which first appeared on our Sundance Channel and is now available, commercial-free, via Netflix streaming.
George A. Romero enough for his earlier and equally ground-breaking zombie movie Night of the Living Dead, I must also admit that Romero's film has spawned far, far too many second-, third- and fourth-rate imitations. M. Campillo's zombie film, however, and the series inspired by it (the movie-makers thank Campillo with an upfront credit in each episode), are something else.
I Walked With a Zombie, is one such). These were much quieter films, with none of the blood and gore our George bestowed on the species, and The Returned -- despite one of its undead being a serial killer -- harks back to those quieter zombies.
Fabrice Gobert (at left, above, who wrote a number of the episodes) and Frédéric Mermoud (above, right, who earlier directed and co-wrote the excellent French film, Complices), the series builds on the set-up given us by Campillo. And it does a sterling job of making its zombies utterly human in their needs and appetites, never more so than in their longing for some of that tasty French food.
Anne Consigny, Frédéric Pierrot, Clothilde Hesme (two photos above), Pierre Perrier and Samir Guesmi to some newer faces like Jenna Thiam (above) and Yara Pilartz (of 17 Girls). The first season is made up of eight episodes lasting around seven hours total, which makes it about four times longer than Campillo's original film. (A second season has now been ordered.)
Music Box Films -- that you can stream now on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and perhaps elsewhere, too.