Return of the Living Dead 3 1993
Warning - Spoilers Herein:
Coming from a series of comic zombie escapades, it might surprise a few that Return of the Living Dead 3 isn’t a comedy at all. For those skeptics, there are few elements that validate Part 3 isn't an irrelevant spin-off. Sure enough, shady government officials, 245 Trioxin, zombies, zombie bites, and zombie breasts all ensue. But this time the content is taken quite seriously, with undertones that can be rivaled only by burying a pet. I think the new approach works. The main credit should really go to Mindy Clarke as Julie, who isn’t only lethally gorgeous, but also manages to avoid overacting in every scene that invites it. There’s a lot them.
Curt (J. Trevor Edmond) and Julie (Clarke) are inseparable teen spirits who sneak into a Top Secret Army Test Center. Curt uses the security pass of his stiff, perpetually disapproving father, Colonel John Reynolds (Kent McCord). Bureaucrats have hired scientists to reanimate the dead for purposes of warfare. Unethical, sure, but I assume there’s cost-effectiveness in compensating your military with the enemy’s flesh. An experiment gone wrong contaminates a test room and Curt and Julie witness the zombification of a few good doctors.
Despite witnesng an inexplicable cannibalistic attack, the couple reserve an appetite for love making on a stack of greasy Guns & Roses shirts and promise companionship no matter what assails –- boy, are they in for a test. For details that Col. Reynolds thinks Curt doesn’t know, Reynolds is being reasgned and insts that he and son move away. The idea appalls Curt, having spent his entire life moving around and now has a meaningful courtship with Julie. Curt and Julie, the rebellious teens they are, abandon his father with haste and ride out into the night. On a highway road, the little vixen Julie playfully gropes Curt’s crotch through his jeans — leading to a violent motorcycle accident.
Probably her unsexiest moment in the film, Julie is terminally catapulted into a telephone poll. Bummer. Curt works the experimental 245 Trioxin gas on Julie like a modernized Necronomicon. She is soon revived (with a few ghastly others) and the two escape once again. They seek solace by the coast, where Curt hopefully hits big as a rock star and Julie stands by as loyal housewife.
But there’s a problem. milar to victims in Return’s predecessors, Trioxin 245 is a hindering epidemic on victims. Appetites are enhanced and masochistic fetishes transcend all decent barriers. Julie’s adjust into zombie-mode is convincingly unnerving as it is heartbreaking. When she isn’t taking a bite out of cheap Latin thugs, Julie discovers a way to appease her lust for flesh; she pierces her skin with nails, chains, shards of glass, etc. Self-mutilation always got Julie’s rocks off, but for once it serves a greater purpose than a plea for attention. The pain makes Julie stronger and staves off an urge to snack on Curt. She eats, impales, and makes a human Pez dispenser out of some victims. All the while, Curt does his best to be an understanding boyfriend.
Return of the Living Dead 3 has its share of the undead, as obligated by its title. But coming from a series of zombie self-parody, part 3 really offers an unconventional surprise: it’s a dead serious rom-zom. It’s a genre some of the horror public didn’t think it needed. But it surely did.