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Brian Yuzna
Mindy Clarke, J. Trevor Edmond, Kent McCord, Basil Wallace
Writing Credits:
John Penney

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.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $34.97
Release Date: 11/22/2016

• Audio Commentary with Director Brian Yuzna
• Audio Commentary with Actor Melinda Clarke and Special Effects Supervisor Steve Rainone
• “Ashes to Ashes” Featurette
• “Living Dead Girl” Featurette
• “Romeo Is Bleeding” Featurette
• “Trimark and Trioxin” Featurette
• “The Resurrected Dead” Featurette
• Galleries
• Trailers


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Return of the Living Dead 3 [Blu-Ray] (1993)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 29, 2016)

Back in 1985, Return of the Living Dead offered a fun reinvention of the zombie genre. Though not a huge hit, the film did well enough to spawn sequels, the last of which came with 1993’s Return of the Living Dead 3.

Back in the original flick, we saw how a chemical possessed by the US military could reanimate dead flesh. Led by Colonel John Reynolds (Kent McCord), these authorities continue to experiment with the compounds.

Reynolds’ son Curt (J. Trevor Edmond) sneaks his girlfriend Julie (Melinda Clarke) into the lab to watch these creepy proceedings. Not long after this, Julie gets killed in a traffic accident. Rather than accept her fate, Curt uses the re-animating chemicals to bring back his girlfriend. What could possibly go wrong?

When a low-budget horror movie actually turns out to be good, it always comes as something of a surprise. That’s what made the 1985 Dead such a pleasure – while it never turned into a classic, it boasted enough cleverness and horror fun to entertain.

I never saw Return of the Living Dead 2 so I have no idea how well – or poorly – it continued the series. Based on the synopses I read, it sounds like Dead 2 offered an effort that came closer to “remake” than “sequel”, as the first two films seem to boast very similar plotlines.

If nothing else, Dead 3 deserves credit for the choice to deviate from that formula. While it uses some of the basics from the first two tales, it takes the narrative down different paths and never feels like a rehash of its predecessors.

Beyond this burst of semi-creativity, though, I find it hard to locate much to praise in the slow, cheesy Dead 3. Though the story choices manage to separate it from its forebears, nothing about the end result ever threatens to create an entertaining experience.

Some of the problems stem from the film’s low-budget nature. A lack of money shouldn’t hinder a movie too badly, but everything about Dead 3 feels cheap.

And I do mean everything. Effects look especially phony and rubbery, without anything vaguely convincing to be found. The synthesizer score has aged poorly and turns into a dated distraction.

The lead actors fail to bring anything to their roles. Actually, some of the veterans like McCord and Sarah Douglas manage to impart a bit of class, but our leads lack vivacity or depth. Both Clarke and Edmond seem bland and forgettable.

That goes for the film as a whole. Return of the Living Dead 3 provides a fairly dull expansion of the zombie genre that never manages to involve the viewer.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C+/ Audio C/ Bonus B+

Return of the Living Dead 3 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a decent but unexceptional transfer.

Sharpness became one of the erratic areas, as definition lacked consistency. Much of the movie delivered fairly good clarity, but bouts of mild softness occurred.

I saw no jaggies or shimmering, and edge haloes failed to appear. In terms of print flaws, small specks cropped up throughout the movie. These never became dominant, but they caused occasional distractions.

The film’s palette tended toward a reddish-orange tint, with some blues thrown into nighttime shots. The colors looked okay – they didn’t deliver much vivacity, but they appeared acceptable. Blacks were a bit on the inky side, while shadows showed decent clarity despite a little murkiness at times. The ups and downs left this as a “C+” image.

I found similar mediority from the film’s DTS-HD 2.0 soundtrack. With the focus firmly on those front two channels, the mix lacked much ambition.

This meant reasonable stereo spread for music, and effected occasionally broadened across the front as well. Not much of this became exciting, though, as the track showed inconsistent movement and breadth across the front.

Audio quality also appeared lackluster. Dialogue remained intelligible but the lines could be a bit edgy at times. The cheesy synthesizer score lacked much range, and effects tended to sound a little flat, with distortion for elements like gunshots. Even for a low-budget flick from 1993, this track felt bland.

The Blu-ray comes with a bunch of extras, and we begin with two separate audio commentaries. The first features director Brian Yuzna and offers his running, screen-specific look at the project’s development, story/characters and connections to earlier films, cast and performances, creature design and various effects, sets and locations, and rating/editing issues.

Overall, Yuzna brings us a nice look at the film. He loses a little steam occasionally, but not to a problematic degree. Instead, he usually brings a thoughtful presence as he explains various movie-making choices.

For the second commentary, we hear from actor Melinda Clarke and special effects supervisor Steve Rainone. Both sit together for their running, screen-specific take on cast and performances, sets and locations, and various effects.

Clarke and Rainone present a serviceable chat. While they give us a reasonable collection of thoughts, the track never threatens to become especially memorable. It turns into a decent but ordinary commentary.

A few featurettes follow. Ashes to Ashes runs 26 minutes, 48 seconds and includes info from Yuzna and screenwriter John Penney. They discuss the movie’s evolution and story/character choices, their collaboration, cast and performances, various effects, the movie’s release/legacy and their relationship. Some of this repeats from Yuzna’s commentary, but we still get a good array of new insights.

During the 18-minute, 56-second Living Dead Girl, we hear from Clarke. Here she discusses her character and performance, with an emphasis on all the effects makeup. Like Yuzna, Clarke also covers some of the same ground from the commentary, but she offers enough fresh material to make “Girl” worth a look.

Next comes Romeo Is Bleeding. In this 17-minute, 21-second piece, we get remarks from actor J. Trevor Edmond. As expected, he discusses his career and aspects of his character and work here. Edmond delivers a lot of fun stories in this enjoyable chat.

Trimark & Trioxin lasts 13 minutes, 33 seconds and features production executive David Tripet and editor Chris Roth. They look at the movie’s development, story/character choices and editing, sets and locations, ratings issues, and the flick’s legacy. This becomes another quality view of the production.

Lastly, The Resurrected Dead fills 18 minutes, 47 seconds and provides statements from special makeup effects artist Chris Nelson and Steve Johnson, and actor Anthony Hickox. “Dead” mainly focuses on zombie design and effects. The show views the subject manner in a compelling manner.

In addition to two trailers, two Galleries finish the set. We find a “Storyboard Gallery” and a “Still Gallery”. The former gives us a five-minute, 51-second running piece in which we see art for “Julie’s Accident” and “Into the Fire”. The latter shows three minutes, 54 seconds of photos from the shoot, publicity photos and concept art. Both add a little value to the package.

No one expects much from third chapters in low-budget horror series, and Return of the Living Dead 3 gives us a forgettable experience. Stuck with weak production values and bad acting, the movie offers little entertainment value. The Blu-ray provides erratic picture and audio along with a nice array of supplements. I’m glad Dead 3 doesn’t just remake the first film, but that doesn’t make it a good movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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