Return of the Living Dead 3 – Blu-ray Review

Lionsgate UK is releasing Return of the Living Dead 3 restored and remastered for the first time on Blu-ray later this month.

I remember going to see the first movie back in 1985 and there are fond memories of laughing out loud in the cinema and the scene of half a dog in the morgue, 1988 saw the release of the second movie, with the chemical Trioxin turned people into flesh-eating zombies.

In 1993 Return of the Living Dead 3 was released the film saw the US government trying to control the the dead, after seeing the horrors of the dead being brought back to life, A teen, Curt Reynolds (played by J. Trevor Edmond), uses an Army chemical to revive his dead girlfriend, Julie (Played by Melinda Clarke), after a motorcycle accident, what could possibly go wrong!

Upon her return, Mindy has a hankering for one thing and one thing only, brains! She tries to control her cravings for her new cravings, but the change has already taken place and it’s too late for her to turn back from the path she has taken and to make matters worse hordes of the undead, brain-munching, zombies are rising from the graves and they are in need of a bite or two!

Return of the Living Dead 3 a time before CGI

Directed by Brian Yuzna (Bride of the Re-Animator), the third of the movies doesn’t have comedic feel that the first two movies had and that was part of the charm of the movies, but this isn’t to say that Return of the Living Dead 3 doesn’t have its moments, such as the special effects throughout the film, remember these are the days before the heavy over usage of CGI to create monsters!

As an example, the brain eating zombie in the Trioxin barrel when Curt is trying to bring Mandy back to life, the pure indulgence of physical effects certainly harkens back to the days of the 80s and 90s when we saw the skills of prosthetics in special effects makeup bringing our nightmares to life.

Then there is the transformation of Julie as she slowly craves human flesh to feed her need to eat and in an attempt to subdue her lust for flesh she puts her body through pain with piercings from nails to glass shards and more, quite horrific looking and actress would go through five to eight hours in makeup to produce the stunning, if somewhat stomach churning, prosthetics to produce her terrifying look.

Blu-ray

Return of the Living Dead 3 (Blu-ray Review Blazing Minds)

Return of the Living Dead 3 (Blu-ray Review Blazing Minds)

So as I mentioned earlier Return of the Living Dead 3 is being released on Blu-ray for the first time, so for those of us that saw the film on video when it was released back in the 90s, the movie looks a little different than the worn out tapes we were watching.

The image is crisp and the colours are vibrant, more so when the gory sections of the movie are on screen, the moments of eating flesh and brains certainly pop out with the vibrant red of the blood drenched characters. The darker sawer scenes also work well in this restored and remastered release, with the lighting looking good in its Blu-ay format.

The film is known for being one that is not for the squeamish, not so much for the gore, but for those moments when Mandy is self-inflicting pain to take away the hunger and these moments do look more freaky than I remember back in the 90s!

The Blu-ray comes with the original 2.0 stereo DTS-MA, which sounds good and clear, it’s a bit strange watching a film in 2.0 after being spoilt by movies in 5.1 and 7.1, but it still works, with the speech not being drowned out by the background music or special effects, a problem that some recent films in 2.0 sound suffer from these days.

The Blu-ray also comes with a good selection of special features for you to enjoy after watching the film, I particularly enjoyed the interviews with the featurettes, Ashes to Ashes, Living Dead Girl, Romeo is Bleeding, Trimark & Tioxin and The Resurrected Dead.

Return of the Living Dead 3 special features include:

  • AUDIO COMMENTARY with Director Brian Yuzna, Actress Melinda Clarke, Make-Up Effects Supervisor Tom Rainone
  • A CONVERSATION with Director Brian Yuzna and Screenwriter John Penney
  • INTERVIEWS with Special Effects Artists Steve Johnson and Chris Nelson
  • INTERVIEWS with Production Executive David Tripet and Editor/Post-Production Supervisor Christopher Roth
  • THEATRICAL TRAILERS
  • STILL GALLERY

Return of the Living Dead 3 will be having a retrospective premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest on 25th August, 2017 and the Blu-ray will be released on the 28th August.

Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds. She is also a Cinema reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and at the many Cineworld screens, where she reviews the latest movies, she has also had several articles published in various publications. In 2015 she became an Award Winning Blogger and also has her website listed as one of the UK's Top 10 Film Blogs.
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