Julie Walker, (great name right?) was the girlfriend of a boy whose father worked for the government on a top-secret project to reanimate the dead. This military project was the backdrop and the unifying subplot running throughout the entire Return of the Living Dead series. Julie is a good example of how writers try to make their zombies new and different and unusual in some way. In her case she was extremely fresh when she died and maintained her personality after reanimation. Since she was still with her boyfriend she did everything she could to avoid eating him which included causing herself pain. This is a bit of a plot hole though as other zombies in the series were fresher than her (Frank and Freddy) and they went mad with hunger. Julie’s hunger also just seems to disappear all together towards the end of the film.
Julie Walker has actually become a really popular character for a number of reasons and really stands out as the only decent thing about an otherwise crappy zombie movie.
For one thing she represents the culture of the time as “cutting” and piercing were prevalent cultural phenomena at the time. As she tries to resist eating her boyfriend Julie cuts and pierces herself repeatedly. She also represents what a lot of high school boys secretly fear. That their girlfriends are actually cooler, tougher and wilder than they are. Women tend to mature faster than men and so boys in their first relationships are often afraid that they aren’t living up to what their girlfriends really want. This comes out throughout the movie as Julie moves emotionally and physically beyond the experience of her boyfriend who is constantly both in awe of and horrified by her behavior mirroring the emotions he would feel in a regular relationship.
Played by the beautiful Melinda Clarke, Julie Walker was one of the most incredibly attractive zombie women we’ve seen on screen. Unfortunately she’s also incredibly difficult to draw. This is another one I think I want to come back to at some later date to rework.