A great horror movie makes more of an impression on the psyche than any other kind of film. Hell, even a bad horror flick can scar you for life. There’s a phrase that every seasoned horror fan loves to hear: “Have you ever seen . . . ?” For the next 31 days, John E. Meredith will unearth some of his personal favorites that fell through the cracks, that are not so obvious, the kind that might even sneak up on you while you’re trying to sleep. Return of the Living Dead III 1993, USA. Directed by Brian Yuzna. Written by John Penney. Starring Mindy Clarke, J. Trevor Edmond, Kent McCord, Sarah Douglas. This is the story of a young man’s crush on a monstrous girl. His cinematic infatuations until then were mostly normal for someone of his age, growing up in the time that he did. Molly Ringwald. Olivia D’Abo. Demi Moore. Winona Ryder (but only in BEETLEJUICE). Then he discovered horror movies and his tastes went a little darker. He was a Halloween baby, you see, so it was really only a matter of time. The angst of teen queens was inevitably replaced by tormented scream queens, the likes of Barbara Steele, Heather Langencamp, and maybe not Jamie Lee but some of Jamie Lee’s friends. The first time the young man saw this particular crush she was on the cover of an old VHS tape, all pierced, fierce and fabulous. It was RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III and, as if directly speaking his thoughts, the caption at the top of the box said “She’s To Die For.” The young man had seen the first one, of course (it was the last movie he ever saw, along with LIFEFORCE, at a drive-in). However, the presence of Mindy Clarke as Julie, the wild and tragic girl on her way to being a monster, made this flick an entirely different animal. The first time she appears on the screen she is holding her hand over the bright blaze of a lighter, obviously enjoying herself. She’s dressed in combat boots, fishnet stockings, cut-off shorts with a nearly transparent top, and a dusty leather jacket. Her hair is a bursting flame of completely unrealistic red. She’s trouble coming from miles away, with a smile that’s a little dirty and maybe even a little evil. When Kurt, her big screen boyfriend, pulls up to snatch her away from her friends, he doesn’t look like the kind of guy to be riding a motorcycle. Or to be sharing the same fate as this scary-sexy creature. With a stolen keycard, they sneak into the base where Kurt’s father is heading a secret military project. Had they seen the other movies, they would have known all about the deadly chemical known as Trioxin. It was meant to be used in a supposed “war against marijuana”, but instead turned everybody it contacted, living or dead, into a gnarly brain-eating zombie. Luckily, things go wrong in the lab when the scientists try to activate their new meat-battery-operated weapon and thrill-seeking Julie finds all the horrors she had ever hoped for. At the house afterward, she curls up to Kurt with a post-coital observation: “That was incredible, wasn’t it?” She’s not referring to him, obviously, but to what they just saw in the military base. She muses aloud that it must be awful to be dead . . . Before you can say ‘driver distraction’ she’s getting sprayed with Trioxin. The first thing Julie learns about being dead is that it’s made her hungry. So very hungry. A pile of snack cakes doesn’t seem to do it, but when she takes a bite out of one of the hoodlum muchachos outside the 7-11 . . . now that’s the thing. But the hunger is getting worse. She’s so hungry now that even Kurt is starting to look good. “Brains, brains . . .” she moans, but there are none to be found there. What she does find is that pain can temporarily make the hunger go away. She curls a rusty spring into her arm. She pierces her palm with a chunk of glass. But when Kurt says they’re going to run away to Seattle, where he can get a gig drumming in a band, there is very little that could be more painful. She has no choice but to go full zombie. This is where our young man (whose previous crushes had been on nice, sweet girls) sees his horror-chick infatuation roar into a full throb. The new Julie emerges from the shadows, all spiked and pierced and freakin’ bad-ass, licking the metal hoops she’s stuck through her bottom lip. She hisses like a lizard and slinks around like a ravenous cat. In an attempt to preserve her fleeting humanity she has transformed her entire body into a glorious weapon. When one of the hoodlum muchachos tries messing with her, she comes back dragging his head and barely-attached body behind her. She is at once both terrifying and utterly I’d-drink-a-barrel-of-Trioxin-just-to-swing-from-your-nipple-ring sex personified. Sarah Douglas is here too, better known to the young man as the mean lady who hung out with General Zod in SUPERMAN II. He used to have a crush on her too. It was her casual cruelty that was somehow attractive, he thinks now. How strange. Maybe his crushes were never quite as sweet and innocent as they once seemed. Still, while her cold military scientist in this movie is reminiscent of the other one, Ursa is simply no match for a dangerous and horrific zombie lover. Like the poster said, she’s to die for. See larger image Return Of The Living Dead 3 New From: $8.99 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.