Revisiting the Classics: THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES
Released in 1966, and a shining example of Hammer Studios golden age, THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES was directed by John Gilling (who also directed THE REPTILE and THE MUMMY’S SHROUD), written by camera operator turned scriptwriter Peter Bryan (who also wrote THE BRIDES OF DRACULA and THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES), and starred the superb Andre Morrell in the leading role. It might seem sedate to today’s younger audience, weaned on the likes of Romero and THE WALKING DEAD, but it’s as good as they get. One of the true classics of the genre. If it isn’t one of the first films to come to mind when one thinks about Hammer, like HORROR OF DRACULA, CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, or THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, it sure ought to be.
You don’t typically get zombies and “gothic” in the same film, but the mixture here is a tasty concoction wherein an unscrupulous landowner uses Voodoo “black magic” to resurrect the dead of a tiny English village, putting the zombies to work in the abandoned tin mine on his property. It’s a neat take on it, similar to what was done in the Bela Lugosi classic WHITE ZOMBIE, wherein the zombies are cast as the victims—until the end of the movie, of course, when they get their revenge.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
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