Return of the Living Dead III (1993) ~ Review by Chris

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She’s To Die For.

Sorry for jumping straight to part 3 but my copy (the full uncut version) just arrived today and I couldn’t wait to see it again, only seen it once before. I will review part 2 at some point in the near future.

Directed by Brian Yuzna and starring Melinda Clarke as Julie Walker, J. Trevor Edmond as Curt Reynolds, Kent McCord as Colonel John Reynolds, Sarah Douglas as Colonel Sinclair, James T. Callahan as Colonel Peck and Jill Andre as the chief scientist. Also stars Mike Moroff as Santos, Pía Reyes as Alicia, Sal Lopez as Felipe, Julian Scott Urena as Mogo, Dana Lee as the store owner and Basil Wallace as Riverman.

While military personnel are preparing to test Trioxin gas to reanimate a corpse, Colonel Reynolds’ son Curt and his girlfriend Julie are sneaking into the base using a ‘borrowed’ card key. They witness the test but not the carnage that follows as they leave in a bit of a hurry, not wishing to be discovered. When his father is transferred, Curt doesn’t want to leave Julie so the two of them leave on Curt’s motorcycle, they have an accident and Julie is killed. Curt decides to take Julie back to the base and bring her back to life. He manages to reanimate her but unwittingly reanimates another corpse in a nearby chemical drum too. They manage to escape the base together leaving the zombie feasting on a guard. They stop at a store as Julie is ravenously hungry and get into trouble with a gang of thugs, one of whom Julie bites. I’m not going to say anymore about the plot.

This is absolutely brilliant and I will apologise in advance for awarding yet another 100%. If I marked it any lower I would have to have a reason and I haven’t got one. The special effects are beautifully done, no CGI, managing to be supremely gory and entertaining at the same time, and there are plenty of effects too, you can just tell everyone had a great time making this film. The film rightly belongs to Melinda Clarke’s character who’s not only the hottest and coolest zombie I’ve ever seen but in her slow deterioration into one of the living dead, coupled with the little love story going on between her and Curt, we essentially have the heart of the film. And this film does have heart. There’s also a character called Riverman who lives in the pump room in the sewers who I really liked.

Made in ’93 but thankfully with the spirit of the 80s still pumping through its veins, when characters were individuals and special effects people were still experimenting with new ideas; this is a riot from beginning to end. Even though I’m lucky enough to have the full uncut version, I still feel a bit annoyed that there are versions out there that sell horror fans short, there’s nothing offensive here, this is Wonderland, Alice, wind your neck in girl! Let other people enjoy what they enjoy at its best, not some watered-down bullshit, it’s special effects for fuck’s sake. I love this series; Tarman from the first film is still the best zombie ever I reckon but Julie’s a close second, although they are very different creations, and there are other very impressive creations in this one too. It’s a must-see. What else can I say? There are Romero zombies, there are Fulci zombies and there are Return of the Living Dead zombies and all three go above and beyond. Now, if I could only get hold of part 4 and part 5.

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