Monday, October 18, 2010

The Plague Of The Zombies (1966)

Genre: Horror, Zombie

Source: TV (Channel TCM)

Grade: B

The first time I ever saw this poster or heard of this movie was in a book about the dark arts that I got at the library when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. I remember thinking how awesome this movie must be because it had such a cool poster. To bad the way I imagined the movie being in like 3rd or 4th grade has ended up being 10x better then the movie actually is.
Now i`m not saying the movies bad or anything i`m just saying it could have been much, much better. It had all the potential for it to be good zombie flick, but it just for some dumb reason couldn't grasp it.
OK so for starters Channel TCM (Turner Classic Movie) one of the best channels ever,has been doing a kick ass hammer horror marathon ever weekend, I recommend you check it out. In fact last weekend they showed all the Hammer Mummy movies in a row, it was pretty sweet.
Now anyways back to this film, as I said the movie just really didn't take advantage of its extreme potential, reasons being it doesn't contain nearly enough zombies in it! Seriously they were demoted to a subplot status. While the film seemed to be more concentrated around a "murder mystery " even though the culprit of the murder was very obvious as well as his motives for murder, not quite sure if that dramatic irony was intentional or not i`m going to say it was just for the sake of Hammer and that if it wasn't meant to be Dramatic Irony it would have been really, really been pathetic. Continuing on, there is next to no action in the film. I mean come on with a title like "Plague of Zombies" you would think that there would be seemingly to the wall action. Of like villagers in there seclusive village fighting a merciless army of zombies to a bloody death. Now that would be a spectacular zombie movie and would earn it a A+ on my standards. But alas it was not that instead its more a town with a creepy secret and cult with some zombies having a minor incorporation. Oh well cant win em all.

The cast wasn't bad though, you had Andre Morell who was in other Hammer films like "The Mummy`s Shroud" and "The Hound of Baskersville''. He played the lead doctor in this movie who was trying to make sense of all the strange happenings. And then you had John Carson playing a very sinister Voodoo zombie priest Character of the movie.
That`s another thing the films zombies are very traditional to the early tales of zombies which is more of a voodoo origin rather than that of brain eating fast sprinting zombies we seem to have today. No these zombies in the movie were slow and only killed if they had commands from there priest to do so, Fans of 1932`s White Zombie will be pretty familiar with this style. But man did the zombies look scary i`m going to be upfront about it these zombies looked scary and just flat out awesome. That was one major highlight of the movie I suppose.
Another interesting thing was it was located in the backlands of 19th century England as opposed to the jungles of Haiti which was a much,much more familiar setting for zombie films from that Era.Like "I Walked With a Zombie", "White Zombie", "King of the Zombies" they were all in that pre night of the living dead era except they all toke place in the Caribbean. So that to was an interesting highlight of the film.

Well in all this was not a terrible movie and don`t discourage anyone from watching it. But I just think it could have been way better then it turned out to be. Plus me already having way to high of standards for this movie probably didn't help much. But the movie does sport some great scary looking zombies, awesome performances, and an entirely unique and new setting for a zombie film from that Era. So please by all means check it out, you might actually really come to enjoy it.

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