I've been a movie enthusiast my whole life and been writing movie reviews for over 156 years.
Those of you looking to do Julie Walker cosplay this Halloween (good luck with that) just because your parents did it before cosplay was a thing would do well to revisit the movie that launched Julie and her torn jeans and her pierced everything. You might as well before you go to theaters as they are reopening all across this great nation of ours.
I think we all feel safer already.
Now you can see Return of the Living Dead 3 on a Special Edition (i.e. overpriced) Blu-Ray instead of that worn-out videotape you still have for whatever reason that you neglected to return to Hollywood Video (you thought I was going to say that other defunct video store chain that rhymes with Chalk Duster) because you fluted the tape watching the same part over and over and over.
Yeah. That part.
Now with Blu-Ray you can pause your favorite parts as long as you want without your tape getting warped or the VCR stopping right when you were about to—
That’s one way of putting it.
If you haven’t seen it in a while, just know your old friends Curt, Julie, Riverman and that Mexican guy with the hat are just like you remember them. Before you decide to spend two hours in an enclosed area with complete strangers breathing the same recirculated air because you spent all of the summer at home, go back to a time when grunge was actually a thing and return to Return of the Living Dead 3.
No, it doesn’t have Trash dancing on a wall, but it doesn’t have one of the most awesome and implausible costume changes in zombie movie history.
See it, if only for that.
Return of the Living Dead 3 opens on a military base led by one of the most incompetent military dolts in you've ever seen in a horror movie. This dumb*ss’ name is Colonel John Reynolds (Kent McCord, which sounds like a fake name while John Reynolds sounds like a name an actual person might have). Colonel Reynolds and other old white people are conducting experiments on the undead so they could use them as biological weapons.
They’ve been doing some version of this during the two previous movies and things seem to be working out fine, except for the part where a bunch of people end up dead.
Colonel Reynolds hopes to use the zombies to fight during war and then easily shut them down for future use. He also hopes to find his multilevel access key-card because he hasn’t seen it since the previous night. He’ll just use another person’s key-card because f*ck protocol.
It just so happens that Colonel Reynolds’ only son Curt (J. Trevor Edmund, looking like Edward Furlong’s less strung out older brother) took his old man’s key-card because he and his girlfriend Julie (Melinda Clarke) want to visit the base later because something is happening at 6:30 that is all that and a bag of chips.
I think that’s an extinct 90s term for good…or something. Anyway, Julie is really excited to trespass, I mean, visit, the military base because her life is totally devoid of meaning. She tells Curt, “We have to jam!”.
Julie and Curt um, jam, to the military base and Curt just goes through the security gate because he says that he wants to see his dad. He and Julie find a nice secluded spot to check out the illegal experiments that work perfectly until…
The zombies go berserk and start killing random nameless soldiers. These soldiers had terrible reflexes and deserved to die if something that slow got the drop on them. Needless to say the serum that’s supposed to subdue the zombies doesn’t work perfectly.
Colonel Reynolds’ face is as red as the blood-drenched floor. The military higher-ups will have to report this to Washington.
Curt and Julie decide to go to Curt’s house and have sex. Julie can’t stop talking about zombies even while copulating with Curt. Curt finds it difficult to um, focus because seeing all those people die doesn’t get him as excited as it does Julie.
Julie and Curt have to stop mid coitus because Colonel Reynolds just got home. He still can’t find his key-card but that doesn’t matter now. Because of tonight’s zombie debacle the Colonel is getting transferred which means he and Curt will be moving to another state in a week.
Curt doesn’t want to go. He wants to stay with Julie and join a band. Good luck with that.
Curt and Julie leave in a huff on Curt’s motorcycle and they talk about being together forever. Forever lasts about 45 more seconds as Curt loses control of his bike and Julie ends up dead.
Fortunately, Curt still has his dad’s key-card and because there were zombie shenanigans earlier the base has even less security. That means that Curt can just look at a couple of manuals and bring Julie back to life.
That was easy.
Julie’s alive, but she’s in pain. She’s in pain and constantly hungry. What she wants to eat you won’t find in any grocery store. Unless that grocery store has human flesh and brains. Because that’s what she wants and this is a zombie movie.
What Works With Return of the Living Dead 3
- Julie Gone Wild- You’ll wonder how she did what she did to her wardrobe, but you won’t wonder why this the best sequence in the movie. Melinda Clarke owns every moment of this scene and you wish more of Return 3 were like this instead of a basic zombie movie.
- An ending that’s more touching than you’d expect for the genre.
What Doesn’t Work With Return of the Living Dead 3
- Quaint 90s racial stereotypes include a gang of Mexicans bent for revenge and a kindly homeless but helpful Magical Negro named Riverman (Basil Wallace). The important white characters thank you for your help!
Return of the Living Dead 3 holds up better than you think it does as it’s a significant upgrade from Return of the Living Dead 2. It’s a typical zombie movie in regard to everything but Julie. No brain eating necessary to see how much you still enjoy it.