Love Beyond the Grave: A Look at Return of the Living Dead III

Julie WalkerEarlier this week I did a quick review of Return of the Living Dead Part Three. (Click here for more of that.) As I believe I said in that review, it’s not exactly my favorite zombie movie but still holds sweet place in my heart because of when it came out and when I first saw it.

If you’re interested, and you like seeing some of the behind the scenes things that I’ve shared earlier, this is another little peek behind the scenes of the making of Return 3.

So have fun with that!

Check it out by clicking here.

Experimentals Artwork

Experimentals

A while back I added the illustration below of an experimental zombie to my list of zombie types. At the time I had actually drawn and inked another image but it somehow got lost in the shuffle and I couldn’t find it anywhere. So, I went ahead and created the image below since the image was nowhere to be found.

Months later I was cleaning up the studio and came across the original image and still really liked it. So, rather than throw away the image I decided to go ahead and do the color and ended up liking it a bit more than the more recent one. I think in part because I’ve got the colors a bit better the second time around.

What do you think? Which one do you like better?

experimentals

Julie Walker

Julie Walker
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.

experimentals

experimentals
These rare horrors aren’t often encountered but when they are, they are often accompanied by some sort of military unit. It may be that these creatures have been engineered or created to work as bio-weapons by the military. In this case the zombie is shown in an exo-suit similar to that hooked up to Riverman in Return of the Living Dead 3.

An important thing about these things is that although they are modified in some sense, and possibly armored, destroying the brain should still work on them. It’s also worth noting that these guys are going to kill everyone in the room. If you encounter a mad scientist who is absolutely sure and confident that he has the thing under control, get out of there FAST! There is about a hundred percent chance that these things are going to get out, the controls will break or snap or the seemingly sedate creature will bite you as soon as his controls have been loosened. Remember, the government wants to use them as weapons for a REASON!