When a long-running horror series brings in cult director Brian Yuzna (Society, The Dentist), the resulting film is generally a huge change of pace. Sometimes, as in the marvelous Return of the Living Dead III, that is a good thing. In this case, the result is a big, confused mess. Maud Adams stars as Fima, a witch who owns a Los Angeles bookstore. She befriends a newspaper reporter named Kira (Neith Hunter), whom Fima has chosen to initiate into the coven by having her give birth to a monster. Clint Howard appears as her slave, Ricky, but doesn't seem to be related to the killer-Santa Ricky from parts two and three, although he does manage to garrote someone with a string of Christmas lights and reappears in part five. None of it makes much sense, but there are lots of big maggots and roaches (created by makeup expert Screaming Mad George) and an interesting cult-bait cast including Reggie Bannister (Phantasm), Jeanne Bates (Mom), Allyce Beasley, and Marjean Holden (who seems to be in every major horror or science fiction movie of the period without ever having much to do). The next installment starred Mickey Rooney, although by that point not many viewers cared.
by Robert Firsching synopsis