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The Unrated Region 2 DVD:
 


RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3
1993
Written by John Penney and directed by Brian Yuzna
97 Minutes
Unrated

Return of the Living Dead 3 is in my opinion a sort of career best for a lot of the people involved in it, and I say this recognizing the following:

1. None of the talents involved can really be considered stellar, and none of them have had really lucrative careers.

2. It is abnormally good.

3. It is unusually creative for a movie with the number "3" in the title.

Brian Yuzna is, honestly, not a very good director. While Bride of Re-Animator and Beyond Re-Animator are a lot of fun, neither one really scrapes the brilliance of the first film, and outside of these two, none of his movies are even notable. They're barely watchable.

Return of the Living Dead 3 is probably the single biggest cinematic curveball I've ever seen thrown. If you've seen the awesome first movie and the miserable second movie in this series, you might be very surprised to find a movie that honestly isn't that funny. It's also the best zombie love story ever committed to film, whatever dubious distinction that may be.

But I've gotta be honest with you...I get a little choked up in this movie, and I think part of the reason is because the incredibly improbable situations are played fairly straight. When it asks "what would you do if you were a zombie and you wanted to eat your boyfriend's brains?" it answers honestly and actually takes the question fairly seriously. I doubt a romantic relationship between man and zombie will ever be explored so sensitively again.

It's hard to describe the movie because the premise is so farfetched and, for most people, batshit insane. Yet it works. The misguided but sweet love story between the main characters, Curt and Julie, is actually pretty believable, and the progression of the movie is fairly logical. The third act in particular contains scenes of remarkable humanity (and inhumanity) and has an unusual level of emotional depth.

Look, I'm a sucker for a good love story. And that's emphasis on the word "good." And that's exactly what we really have here. The nice thing about it is that it caters to a very unusual taste: if you like a good love story, but you crave horror movies as I do, Return of the Living Dead 3 delivers everything you want and in abundance. Nudity? Check. Graphic violence? Check. Flesh-chewing zombie gore and mayhem? TRIPLE-CHECK. (Provided you have the unrated version.) The movie is pretty complete.

I'd also like to make a special mention of the Riverman character, who exists so far outside the realm of surreal that his inclusion really just elevates the sheer strangeness of this movie. Yet there's something sort of believable and beautiful about him...he's really tough to get a peg on and I think the actor, Basil Wallace, plays him a little too crazy at times, but the character is genuine and one of my favorites of any horror movie.

I love this movie. It's one of my all time favorites. Unfortunately, the unrated version is only available on DVD in the UK, but if you're reading my site you should already have invested in a region free DVD player. In that instance, this movie's just an eBay away.

I do sincerely recommend it. It's not perfect (look at the people that made it) but despite its flaws, the love story within it has an unusual conviction to it, and the breadth of humanity in the third act can be touching and disturbing in equal measures.

And if nothing else, it's got titties and a lot of people getting their brains eaten.

- Dustin Sklavos

All written content and colored rating system copyright Dustin Sklavos 2009. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.