The original Return of the Living Dead was not only one of the best horror movies of the 1980s, but also one of the funniest zombie movies ever made; so it was never going to be easy to follow it up. Having seen that original will certainly help to contextualise this film, I'd reckon, but it stands up on its own if you just prefer to plunge straight in.
Actors James Karen and Thom Mathews are both back in this film too. After their incredible, brilliant, over-the-top performances in the first film, they had to be re-invented as new characters (um, probably because science hasn't yet found a way to turn a zombie safely back into a living person - but you can bet those white-coated boffins will be working on it somewhere!) out collecting cadavers when a vat of chemicals rolls off the back of a lorry and spills open... Most of the townsfolk seem to get affected, apart from the few who are trying to survive while also wondering what the heck is going on. Some neat animatronics, make-up and special effects going on here, including some classic scenes you may want to rewind and watch again (assuming you enjoyed it, that is...). Great stuff. Recommended.