A teen uses an Army chemical to revive his dead girlfriend after a motorcycle accident.
Okay, it was a little more complex than that. Government scientists are trying to use the 2-4-5 Trioxin substance from previous films to re-animate the dead for military use. Curt, the teenage son of the program director, comes to learn of the process. Later he and his girlfriend, Julie, get into an accident while riding his motorcycle — during which she dies. Grief-stricken, Curt uses some Trioxin to bring Julie back to life. He then helps Julie deal with her new existence as military agents and local gang members try to track them down — and Julie becomes … Hungry for BRAINS.
ROTLD3 bears little resemblance to its predecessors — both good and bad. It drops the comedy in the previous films, replacing it with horror, science fiction, and romance. The Trioxin substance is carried over, but with different effects than in the previous films. These zombies infect their victims by biting them whereas in the previous films only exposure to Trioxin (as a gas or in exposed water) could turn a corpse into a zombie.
Remember at the beginning of this post where I wrote that I viewed this as neither a terrible or great Zombie movie? It was campy, it was made for around $2M and flopped at the US box office making only $54,207, and much of the delivery could have been better timed.
To its credit however…. the film offered a few a few new things to me from zombie films.
If you have read my other posts you know that I generally dislike when Z-films make cognizant zombies. In ROTLD III the film presents a reasonable way that a zombie could have though, could have awareness, and could speak.
One of the main characters — Julie, played by Mindy Clarke or better known as Melinda Clarke — becomes the zombie, and the story follows her experience. Instead of an anonymous mass of zombies being a looming threatening presence that occasionally comes around to move the story along, this zombie is always present and is not exactly the ‘evil’ in the mix of the story. There are other zombie films I am aware of that follow a main-character zombie, however I have not yet seen one of these.
The zombie is female and remains (well, more or less) attractive. She has awareness of her past and present emotions, and that she has started having problems with sensing any sensation when she touches something. In her confusion she begins to modify her body with first small and then large piercings (which was all the rage yet around that time) which ultimately she can use as weapons.
Also if you have read my other posts you know that I make commentary on gratuitous displays of women’s’ breasts. Let’s be clear on something here …. it’s not that I mind or dislike women’s breasts — being a heterosexual male, I prefer them. Gratuitous display of women’s breasts are common in zombie films BECAUSE IT TENDS TO HELP SELL TICKETS in a genre that is often low-budget and not as attractive to ticket-buying audience members. Seeing a lot of these films, I’ve seen a lot of these breasts, and it just gets old — okay?!? That said….
In ROTLD III you see Julie/Melinda Clarke’s 24 year-old human and zombie breasts. Rare, if ever, have I seen female zombie breasts. As zombies go, they weren’t disgusting. As humans go …. uh, yeah, better still. (And if you REALLY need to see Julie/Melinda Clarke’s zombie breasts, FINE, here ya go … ya wanker.)
Now, you might be asking yourself “Who is Melinda Clarke?” and/or “Why is BagpiperDon drawing so much attention to this chick?!?” The answer to that is simple — she may be the only person from this film who made it ANYWHERE in the TV/film industry. Quite frankly, I didn’t recognize her in this ROTLD III. I know her from a number of things — I’ve seen her, recognized her, but I’ve never known who she is. I know Melinda Clarke from the 2002/03 Firefly TV series as Nandi “Heart of Gold”. I’ve seen her as Lady Heather in CSI. Any time I’ve seen her she’s played stable-footed woman who is a palpable presence.