The movie was filmed immediately after Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis using the same locations of Romania and Ukraine. Both Peter Coyote and Aimee-Lynn Chadwick return from the previous installment. The film takes place one year after Necropolis and the returning teenage characters, from the previous film, are now college freshmen. They discover that Trioxin can be used as a recreational drug named 'Z', but the drug will eventually turn the user into a zombie. The speed of "zombification" depends on the dose of Trioxin consumed. An edited version of the film aired along with Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis on the SciFi Channel on October 15, 2005. As was the case with Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis switching to Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis, Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave was advertised as Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave from the Grave before removing the number 5 from the title. The R-rated version of the film was released on DVD on March 20, 2007 by Lions Gate.
Multiple appearances of zombies are passed off by characters as realistic costumes.
The film features an extended zombie battle at the titular 'rave' with the party-goers one by one turning into brain-eating zombies.
The zombie infested rave is ultimately bombed by law enforcement officers, leaving only a few human survivors. The movie ends with Tarman, a recurring zombie in the series, hitchiking, but he is not picked up.