Return of the Living Dead 3

The military are using Trioxin (the life giving gas from parts one and two) to raise the dead to develop them as unstoppable soldiers.  The top secret facility have had some success but they are unable to fully perfect sending the dead back into a state of ‘hibernation’.  Unlike the comedy and horror hijinks from Dan O’Bannon’s original and it’s rather cheesy sequel, Return of the Living Dead 3 is played completely straight.

Colonel John Reynolds is the head of the project and his son Curt and his girlfriend Julie sneek in to see what the army are up to.  Of course they don’t expect to see zombies at the facility and when riding home on Curt’s motorcycle, tragedy strikes.  Curt being totally in love with Julie, takes her lifeless body back to the military facility and exposes her to the Trioxin gas.  Julie is brought back from the dead and appears relatively normal until ‘being dead’ kicks in and she needs to satisfy her hunger, which means fresh brains from anyone nearby.

Brian Yuzna’s film is one of the best horror films of the early 90’s, it has an excellent script which balances horror and a very tragic love story extremely well.  The make-up effects which include lots of blood and some really clever puppets representing various zombies are first rate.  In fact even in today’s film making world, they’re still damn impressive.

In terms of the thespian skills on display, the stand out is obviously Melinda Clarke who excels in the sad figure of Julie.  In order to battle the pain of hunger, Julie has to result to self harming in one of the film’s hardest scenes to watch.  It’s not at all exploitative and Clarke really makes you sympathise with her character’s reasonings.  For all you Superman fans, Sarah ‘Ursa’ Douglas pops up in a supporting role as a scheming army type, whose slimy character is one you can’t wait to get bitten.

Return of the Living Dead 3 is still and probably always will be a cracking piece of horror.  The Blu-ray has a ridiculously large amount of special features including commentaries and interviews.  Well over twenty years after it’s release, Melinda Clarke is still the hottest zombie ever.

A fine addition to any horror collection.

  • Starring Mindy (Melinda) Clarke  J. Trevor Edmond  Kent McCord  Sarah Douglas
  • Director Brian Yuzna
  • Distributor Vestron Video/Lionsgate