- Author's Saving Throw: A home video example, but the DVD release by Lionsgate was widely criticized for a poor pan & scan transfer, and omitting the unrated version in favor of the more tame R-Rated cut. Come 2016 and Lionsgate, under their Vestron Video Collectors Series line, has released the film in widescreen, with new special features, and best of all uncut.
- Best Known for the Fanservice: The most memorable thing from the movie is Julie in her zombified, metal-decorated punk girl outfit. If you mention the movie in conversation people probably won't remember the characters' names, but "that's the one with the hot zombie chick, right?"
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Col. John Reynolds, Curts military dad, is fairly liked for genuinely caring for his son, as he respects his wishes to be a drummer, and later in the film disobeys orders from his superiors to find him and make sure hes safe.
- Ethnic Scrappy:
- The antagonists consist of a group of offensive Mexican stereotypes.
- Averted with Riverman, however. While, yes, he's a homeless black man, he's also genuinely compassionate, to the point that he can resist the hunger with effort, something only one other zombie in the franchise has done. What makes him more special than Frank is that Frank was converted from a living human, while Riverman was bitten to death by Julie before being reanimated, meaning he would probably be in worse pain.
- Fridge Horror: Self-mutilation as a means to stave off the pain of undeath is new to this step in the franchise, but doesn't last long. It's possible that it relieves the momentary pains of rigor mortis, while opening up further surfaces for rotting, making the pain worse in the long run. The other military zombies seem to be in significantly greater pain than Julie.
- Narm Charm: From the ridiculous looking sci-fi-esque science building, to the melodramatic acting and score, this movie is a goldmine of cheese...but despite that it all works.
- Squick: ESPECIALLY the unrated version, where things such as Julie ramming a glass shard through her palm are shown in horrific, unflinching detail.
- Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Coming off the heels of the more comedy focused second film, part 3, while still not living up to the standards of the first movie, has been seen as a solid zombie film with impressive gore, especially in the unrated cut.
- Tear Jerker:
- The scene where Julie attacks Curt. It shows just how bad her hunger has gotten.
- Julie and Curt killing themselves in the end.
- Poor Riverman only ever tried to help people.
- Visual Effects of Awesome: A staple of Brian Yuzna films
- What an Idiot!:
- Julie being killed in the accident was partially her own fault because she couldn't keep her hormones in check while playing with her boyfriend's member ON A MOVING BIKE! Especially foolish considering that Curt was telling her not get frisky at the time before noticing the truck. Even worse is that since Curt told her to not get frisky at this time, this is pretty much sexual assault.
- Curt isn't any better. After bearing witness to the effects of the trioxin, he has the brilliant idea to resurrect Julie with the stuff so they can be happy together...except that the chemical does NOT restore life per se, only reanimates the dead as ravenous flesh-eating killers. Really, his devotion to Julie ends up causing a lot of death and gets them both on the bad side of some particularly nasty people. Granted they become fodder against Zombie Julie, but still. In the final act, however, Curt outdoes himself again and frees Julie alongside the zombified river man, refusing to let his love be used as a superweapon. The ensuing chaos causes several other undead to break loose, one of them biting Curt and sealing his fate. Love Makes You Dumb, indeed.
YMMV / Return of the Living Dead 3