BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
Melinda Clarke, who stars in Brian Yuzna’s Return of the Living Dead 3, might just be the hottest zombie ever to grace the silver screen. She is, after all, the original living dead girl. She’s a wild girl, complete with flaming red hair and ice-cold eyes. Her edgy personality and style of dress brought many a teen to their knees when I was in high school. Hungry for brains, she turns to cutting, piercings, and other forms of bloodletting to fend off the hunger she feels as a newish dead world awaits her. It doesn’t work, but it adds to her devilish appearance as she and her boyfriend fend off the military AND a whole new army of undead disciples in the third film of the Return of the Living Dead series.
Yuzna’s film – which celebrates its return to the home video market courtesy of The Vestron Video Collector’s Series – finally gets the blu-ray treatment it deserves. Lionsgate is doing this campaign right and offers fans of the genre a chance to get a peek at the uncensored cut of the film. With a lot more uncomfortable shots of Clarke’s character stuffing sharp objects into her skin, Return of the Living Dead 3 is every bit as shocking as we’ve long been promised. It’s also one helluva genre offering.
True love never dies. It merely fans the flames of Hell itself. And no one knows that better than actor J. Trevor Edmond who plays Curt Reynolds, a teenager completely head over heels for his girlfriend. And who wouldn’t love to be loved by the sex-charged looks of Julie (Clarke)? There’s not a soul out there who doesn’t envy him. Except, on the night they decide to sneak into the secret military operation Curt’s father is in charge of, no one would want to see what they do. The dead reanimated as Citizen Soldiers.
Things get pretty disturbing as the dead aren’t easily controlled and, when Curt hears of his father’s reassignment, he and Julie head for the hills. First, zombies and now this. What a night. It gets worse, though, and a freak motorcycle accident – as Julie grabs Curt’s crotch – leaves Curt with no other choice than to bring his lovely girlfriend back to life and then try to keep her hidden from view.
Except the world has other plans and, when she finds out what he’s done to her, she’s going to be really pissed. Julie’s not a girl you want to anger. At all. And the military’s unrelenting madness is not making it any easier for Curt in his attempts to try and reassure her that everything is going to be alright. Yuzna jettisons the comedy that brought success to the first two films in the series. He goes for a serious horror film and, as he manages to assemble a pretty solid flick, saves the series from itself. This is not jokey material at all and, honestly, you shouldn’t go into it expecting a lighter than air feature. No. With Return of the Living Dead 3, Yuzna goes for the jugular.
And it pays off big time. Exciting, wild, and gripping, Yuzna’s spin on the zombie apocalypse quickly becomes a feeding frenzy that results in two young people making a very big decision.
Return of the Living Dead 3 is a movie to die for.
MPAA Rating: R for horror violence and gore, and for language and sexuality
Runtime: 97 mins
Director: Brian Yuzna
Writer: John Penney
Cast: Kent McCord, James T. Callahan, Sarah Douglas
Tagline: She's To Die For..
Memorable Movie Quote: "How could you... eat that man?"
Theatrical Distributor: Trimark Pictures
Release Date: October 29, 1993 (limited)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: November 22, 2016
Synopsis: Having recently witnessed the horrific results of a top secret project to bring the dead back to life, a distraught youth performs the operation on his girlfriend after she's killed in a motorcycle accident.
Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate Films
Available on Blu-ray - November 22, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Region A
Lionsgate does fans yet another solid with the 1080p transfer of the original, uncut version of Return of the Living Dead 3. There’s not a disappointing moment in the upgrade. Black levels are solid. Night scenes have depth. Lines are thick and never fade. Colors are strong, with reds and oranges and some steely blues being the strongest. The sticky icky gore is vivid and full of practical moments that will cause you to pause and think just how it was pulled off. Magic indeed. The 1.85:1 presentation is supported by the film’s original 2.0 stereo audio.
There are two fabulous commentaries included with the release. One is with Director Brian Yuzna and the other is with Actress Melinda Clarke and Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Rainone and, boy, do they have a time of it remembering the pain and the process that went into the making of this cult classic.
The Return of the Living Dead 3, from Lionsgate, includes all-new special features, including an audio commentary with Actress Melinda Clarke and Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Rainone; a conversation with Director Brian Yuzna and Screenwriter John Penney; and interviews with Special Effects Artists Steve Johnson and Chris Nelson and Editor/Post-Production Supervisor Christopher Roth. It is unrated and includes a slipcover with an exciting look at Clarke in full zombie mode.
- Ashes to Ashes: A Conversation with Director Brian Yuzna and Screenwriter John Penney
- Living Dead Girl: An Interview with Actress Melinda Clarke
- Romeo Is Bleeding: An Interview with Actor J. Trevor Edmond
- Trimark & Trioxin: Interviews with Production Excecutive David Tripet and Editor Chris Roth
- Resurrected Dead: Interviews with Special Effects Designers Steve Johnson and Chris Nelson
- Still Gallery