Friday, October 5, 2018

Phil's Halloween Horror Watch: RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3 (1993) from Vestron Video Collector's Series - October 5, 2018

Starring J. Trevor Edmond, Melinda Clarke, Kent McCord, James T. Callahan, Sarah Douglas, Jill Andre
Written by John Penney
Cinematography by Gerry Lively
Edited by Christopher Roth
Produced by Roger Burlage, Lawrence Steven Meyers, Brian Yuzna
Directed by Brian Yuzna
Originally released by Trimark Pictures
Released by Vestron Video

Welcome to Day Five of my Halloween Horror Watch! Today's film is a personal favorite of mine. Ever since I watched this all the way back in 1993, it left an indelible impression on me. It was an unique horror film that had drama and romance, a la Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, but with blood and guts. It was still a gnarly fright flick, but it had heart as well. It was also a major departure from the franchise because of these elements. So let me tell you all about the horror classic RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3 from Vestron Video Collector's Series.

The film's official synopsis: In RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD: PART II, the chemical Trioxin turned people into flesh-eating zombies. Now, the government is trying to control these unstoppable cannibalistic killers in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3. When a young man uses the chemical to bring his girlfriend back to life after a motorcycle accident, she is driven to eat the only thing that will nourish her... human brains! She tries to stop her own feeding frenzy but a chain reaction has already begun, as hordes of undead are unleashed from the grave!

I've always been a fan of director Brian Yuzna, and I've always felt that he has never really been given enough credit for his contributions to the genre, or as an accomplished filmmaker. The list of titles that he has worked on are infamous! From being a producer on movies like RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND, DOLLS, TICKS, and NECRONOMICON: BOOK OF THE DEAD to to directing SOCIETY, BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR, THE DENTIST and THE DENTIST 2, and PROGENY. In 2000, he traveled to Spain to team up with producer Julio Fernández to created Fear Factory so they could produce, "modestly budgeted genre (horror, sci-fi, fantasy) films for the international market (shot in English language) using genre talent from all around the world and to develop local talent." There, he made the films FAUST (based on the ulta-violent underground comic book), DAGON (based on the H.P. Lovecraft short stories), THE NUN (different movie), BENEATH STILL WATERS and BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR (the final film of the series). This was his fourth film as a director and it's often overlooked because it strayed away from the dark humor of the previous two installments. It was much dramatic and I really loved that aspect. It still had all the gore but there was much more going on with the story and its characters. And it looked amazingly stylish for being a low budget horror movie.

Original Theatrical Poster (1993)
Another aspect that made the movie so memorable was the performance of its lead actress Mindy Clarke, now known as Melinda Clarke. She was only 19 at the time she made the film, but she was already an accomplished actress, having been playing the character Faith Taylor on the daytime drama Days of Our Lives. Her portrayal of Julie Walker was just so unbelievably outstanding!! She literally carried the movie on her shoulders! He transformation from a angst-filled teenager to an undead zombie was heartbreaking and gory as hell! That iconic image of her as the mutilated and pierced up zombie is legendary. It's so iconic that I'm very surprised that no one has made an collectible action figure of her yet! So to you guys over at NECA, Not Just Toyz, Sideshow Collectibles, you might want to get on this ASAP!!

The movie was released by Trimark Pictures on October 29, 1993 in a limited release run. It really found its audience when it came out on VHS. It was also released Unrated on VHS, which had more gore in it, which showcased the special effects. It was eventually released on DVD in less then stellar transfers, but it finally received the red carpet treatment in 2016 when it was released on Blu-Ray by Lionsgate on its Vestron Video Collector's Series label.

The Blu-Ray comes loaded with special features that fans will devour! It includes an Unrated Version of the film for the first time ever, Audio Commentary with Director Brian Yuzna, Audio Commentary with Star Melinda Clarke and Special Effects Supervisor Tom Rainone, 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 Executive David Tripet and Editor Chris Roth, The Resurrected Dead – Interviews with Special Make-up Effects Designers Steve Johnson and Chris Nelson, Storyboard Gallery, Still Gallery, and Theatrical Trailers.

RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3 is an unsung horror classic from the 1990's!! I had a blast re-watching the movie after all these years, and it's never looked this amazing! Fans of the zombie genre who are tired of watching the same old zombie movie, this will be like a breath of fresh air! It's got great characters, an interesting story, awesome special effects, and it's a love story as well!! What more could you ask for in a horror film?!? So check out this movie tonight with someone you love! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3 is currently available on a Special Edition Blu-Ray from Diabolik DVD. To order a copy of the movie for yourself, please visit their website Also, checkout the Vestron Video Collector's Series Facebook page for information on upcoming releases.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the horror!

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