Part three of George Romero’s “Living Dead” cycle (1985) takes an unexpected turn away from satire and spectacle and into an intimate, discursive tone. The action is largely confined to a huge cavern (shades of Edgar G. Ulmer) where a team of scientists is investigating what makes the zombies tick. But months underground have eaten away at them and their military aides: the chief scientist has embarked on a series of increasingly grotesque and pointless experiments on his zombie specimens, and the chain of military command has passed to a brutal psychopath. As always in Romero’s films, the minority characters—a woman, a black, an alcoholic intellectual—provide the only positive contrast to the American nightmare of power lust and compulsive consumption, yet this time the focus is less political than philosophical. Beginning from a position of absolute misanthropy, Romero asks what it means to be human, and the answers are funny, horrifying, and ultimately hopeful. 102 min.