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Vestron Blu-Ray Review: Return of the Living Dead 3

Hellraiser Living Dead 3

When Curt’s girlfriend Julie is killed in a motorcycle accident, Curt uses top-secret military technology to reanimate Julie’s corpse. He believes that the pain of losing Julie is too much to bear and is certain he cannot live without her. However, when she comes back to life with a newfound craving for human brains, he begins to wonder if he made the right decision.

Our own Nat Brehmer has spoken about this film at great lengths. He maintains that it is an under appreciated classic and I have to concur, for the most part. I’m usually not one to seek out zombie films. I love the classics and even a few recent additions but I’m much more keen to watch a slasher or home invasion flick. However, Return of the Living Dead 3 isn’t a rehash of every other film in its sub-genre. It takes the approach of humanizing the undead, much in the same way Warm Bodies and Maggie would attempt to do twenty years later. ROTLD3 successfully humanizes the walking dead and it does it in such a way that it never loses its sense of humor. The balance between comedy, romance, and horror proves to be a winning one.

Return of the Living Dead 2 was something of a misstep but Brian Yuzna’s third installment  serves to get things back on track. The director puts his signature spin on the picture, making sure to deliver plenty of memorable effects but also delivering a memorable and romantic experience to his audience.

Speaking of effects, the practical FX work in this picture is insane. Everything holds up incredibly well, even after more than twenty years. And it’s all the more impressive when stopping to consider that it was made for a fairly modest budget.

This release is jam-packed with bonus content. Special features include two different commentary tracks, no less than five featurettes, a storyboard gallery, a still image gallery, and a series of theatrical trailers.

Not surprisingly, the transfer looks great and the audio quality is also excellent. I have yet to see a re-release from the Vestron catalogue that has not exceeded my expectations and this is no exception.

The commentary track with Melinda Clarke is great. She’s present and seems to remember the production with a degree of fondness. She’s gone on to a reasonable degree of success with film and particularly television in the years since Return of the Living Dead 3, so it’s nice to see that she is willing to come back and discuss the role in such great detail.

If you haven’t seen this flick, you really should. Return of the Living Dead 3 is now available on Blu-ray as a limited edition re-release from Vestron Video and LionsGate. I suggest getting your hands on a copy before its gone for good!


Director(s): Brian Yuzna
Writer(s): John Penney
Stars: Melinda Clarke, J. Trevor Edmond, Kent McCord
Release: November 22, 2016 Blu-Ray
Studio/ Production Co: LionsGate, Vestron
Budget: $2 Million (Estimated)
Language: English
Length: 97-Minutes
Sub-Genre: Zombies

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Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dog, and cat hat(s).
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