Zombie Movie Review: Return Of The Living Dead Part 3

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Return of the Living Dead 3 Poster

Return of the Living Dead 3 Poster

Sex and death. Pleasure and pain. We’ve seen all this before, most famously in the dreadfully boring horror series Hellraiser. Damn, is that an awful series of movies! Take for instance: Hellraiser 1. How can a film so obviously about S&M not have any nudity in it? Clive Barker is an arsehole.

If you want to watch a film that covers the whole ‘pain is the only true pleasure’ idea then Return of the Living Dead 3 does that infinitely better than the eight Hellraiser movies combined. Not even one of those movies is worth watching. Sure, some of the later ones (number seven in particular) may have some norkage, but you have to sit through some daft nonsense just to get there.

What exactly does solving a small wooden puzzle box have to do with ultimate pleasure? Especially considering most people who come into contact with this box have no idea what it’s actually about and only ever ‘solve’ the puzzle by accident. (It can’t be that much of a puzzle. Has anyone accidentally solved a Rubiks Cube by accident? That’s highly doubtful). Sure, there are some people who must have figured out the puzzle as we see them occasionally pop up in the weird Hell dimension, but even these dedicated pleasure-seakers are desperate to escape. Well all except that dumbass Pinhead who – despite looking pretty cool – only every seems to arrive just to spout something cryptic and annoying and never displays any aura of enjoyment at being in this Pleasure/Pain/Hell dimension.

Thankfully Pinhead and his idiotic cenobite mates don’t actually have anything to do with Return of the Living Dead 3. This is all about some red-headed chick who is in love with this nerdy dude (probably because he rides a motorbike). He can’t believe his luck, so much so that after they are involved in a midnight bike crash he resuscitates her back from death at his fathers military lab just to stay with her. unfortunately, coming back from the dead isn’t as simple as you’d expect and this lass has to keep causing herself pain (via constant body piercing and various body mutilations) so that she can continue to feel alive. However, no amount of pain is enough and the lust for brains tends to take over.

So there you have it. Hellraiser is daft, Pinhead is just plain annoying and Pleasure / Pain has never been done better than in Return of the Living Dead 3. It has barely anything to do with any of the other films in the series, but has some cracking gore, a top class lead actress who isn’t adverse to some nork scenes (taking after the great Linnea Quigley) and is probably the only film other than the original that is actually worth watching. (Obviously I mean the ROTLD series, not the godawful Hellraiser stinkers).

Gore Score B
Norks Score C
Originality Score C+
Overall Score B-

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10 responses to “Zombie Movie Review: Return Of The Living Dead Part 3

  1. Been quite a while since I’ve seen this classic bit of zombie goodness. I remember being all sorts of impressed with the “suit up” part of this flick; the part where she goes full tilt boogie into piercing, impaling, and otherwise sexing up via the pain highway.

    While I don’t think I would have come up with the comparison between Pinhead and Julie Walker (the actresses character name), I can see how you came to your conclusion. My guess is that Clive’s idea on the Cenobites was massively toned down by those pansies that work for the MPAA, rat bastards that they are.

    By the way, you’re totally right about everybody and their brother accidentally solving that ridiculous box. Evidently, Evil sucks at making puzzles. Maybe they should sub-contract that part out to Hasbro toys…?

    Thanks for the reminder. I’ll have to check out this little gem (ROTLD3) again soon.

    • Yeah the tooling up scene is probably the highlight of the movie.

      Any excuse that I get to rant about how much I hate Hellraiser I’ll take, to be honest. Here my feeling was that if Hellraiser is all about pleasure and pain then it could’ve been done so much better; and ROTLD3 does so in a superior way. You can practically feel that pressure that Julie is under; the constant need to feel the pain that connect her with life.
      Hellraiser is just a bunch of puppets in cool makeup.

      • You’ve got me all ready to re-watch the Hellraiser movies (as many as I can stand, anyway) to see if they’re as mediocre as I remember. Talking with horror fans can have that effect. Sometimes I think I should go to meetings.

        “Hello everybody, my name is Patrick and I like horror movies…”
        clapping hands and murmured support…smell of stale coffee and staler cookies heavy in the air…

        “That’s nice, Patrick. You’re amongst friends now. Share.”

        On the other hand, maybe I’ll just keep obsessively watching horror movies…it seems easier. Or at least less embarrassing.

        Have a good one.

  2. I am hearing more and more about people not liking Hellraiser. It surprises me because it is sick and bloody. I have liked it since it came out, but I wonder if it hasn’t aged well?

    • I watched all 8 films over 8 days last year and after the first one finished I knew I was in for a bad time.
      Pt 1 is just some skinless dude roaming around in an attic for an hour and a half. Why did he go to this Hell dimension? Why did he want to leave? What’s the point of all of it?
      Plus don’t get me started on Pinhead. Sure, he looks pretty cool but all he does is pop up for 2 minutes in every film to briefly say some useless nonsense and then walk backwards into some fog.
      Yes, it’s bloody. But watching some guy without any skin stand around in an attic doesn’t make for an exciting film, in my opinion.

      • LOL at your synopsis about a guy standing in an attic. I think the scary part lies in that everything to do with the puzzle box is all some kind of horrifying S&M/bondage thing. Then the people who solve the box go to hell to be tortured forever and don’t enjoy it as much as they thought they would. Somehow the Asian shopkeeper tricks them into selling their souls because they’re so jaded that ordinary sex won’t do anymore. I didn’t pick up on that when I first saw it, of course, but I was horrified by Julia’s willingness to kill all those men to bring back nasty ol’ Frank. It’s now a case of me approaching middle age and being like, “how dare nobody appreciate what we held dear in 1987!” The sequels, I agree, get worse as they go along.

  3. Pingback: Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 95. Hellraiser (1987) « Lunki and Sika – Movie, TV, Celebrity and Entertainment News. And Other Silliness.

  4. I’ve been on a bit of a ROTLD kick lately. The first one was such a brilliant blend of fun, laughs and horror. It didn’t take itself seriously, and yet still managed to be a great zombie flick. While part 2 could have been way worse, it just relied too much on ridiculous slapstick comedy, and almost like they simply remade the original and tried to outdo it with sheer kookiness.

    I saw part 3 once maybe 20 years ago, but I’m watching it again tonight and finishing the trilogy (wait, do we count those other two films?) I remember liking 3 when I first saw it, despite it being darker and less campy than the rest. Seems to be a lot of mixed reviews for it. I think people came to.expect these movies to be offbeat and shunned it. Oh well….

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