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Our Review

It has been discussed on this site how the suit-up scene often represents the point where a character undergoes an important transformation. In some instances the transformation is heroic, in others it is villainous. What makes Return of The Living Dead 3 unique is that it's suit-up scene is neither.

At this point in the movie, Julie Walker (Melinda Clarke) is already a member of the living dead. However, she is having a particularly complicated moral dilemma. She would like nothing more than to feed on her boyfriend's oh so delicious flesh, yet even as a member of the undead she still loves him. She discovers that she is able to fight off the hunger by inflicting pain upon herself. This fantastic plot device gives rise to one of my favorite suit-up scenes.

The scene begins with some close-ups of Julie's tortured eyes as she is preparing to transform herself into something both good and evil. We see her cutting through her fishnets directly into her thighs with a piece of glass. Even as a creature of death, she was wise enough to inflict these wounds in an aesthetically pleasing and symmetrical pattern.

We then see her jamming pieces of heavy wire through her finger tips to create makeshift claws. She impales a piece of metal through her palm, to more easily stab her foes with. The next shot is my personal favorite. Julie has essentially cut belt-loops around her neck, she feeds a chain through the skin and creates a macabre necklace. Lastly we see her run a piece of rope through her palm and tie that around a small rock, creating a crude club. The camera fades and the scene continues with some secondary characters until her big reveal.

It should be noted that the entire scene was shot in a very sexy manor, nearly pornographic in some aspects. So it comes as no surprise that once we see her in full, that her new look also includes bare breasts with a variety of sharp objects protruding from them. Which bring me to my closing point.

I'm curious how many people who saw this at a young age, later became interested in body modification. Her final appearance is full of scarring, piercings, implants, etc. Things that are main-stays in the current body-modification scene. I suspect that it may have had a minor subconscious impact, as it came out several years before body-mods really began to boom.

So, we have a movie where the character transforms into a monster of love potentially transforming the future lives of many of it's viewers.

Comments

Cody's picture

Good one! This and "Testsuo (aka Tetsuo the Iron Man)" have my favorite shoving-metal-bits-into-flesh scenes. It's good to have some "Return of the Living Dead" love up as well so thanks Kirk! One of my favorite zombie series to date.