Blood of the Zombie (1961)

(a.k.a. THE DEAD ONE)
Article #1763 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-11-2006
Posting Date: 6-10-2006
Directed by Barry Mahon
Featuring John MacKay, Linda Ormond, Monica Davis

A man takes his new bride to the plantation near New Orleans which falls into his possession at the time of his marriage. However, the woman who runs the plantation has no intention of giving it up, and plans to use voodoo to help her.

Some thoughts on BLOOD OF THE ZOMBIE…

1) This is the type of movie that opens with the resurrection of a zombie in the first two minutes, and then doesn’t get back to the zombie until the movie is almost three quarters over, at which time, the same resurrection footage is used one more time.

2) This is the type of movie that, despite the fact that it has a running time of only sixty-eight minutes, still feels compelled to spend the first fifteen minutes of the movie having our hero and heroine take a tour of New Orleans to see jazz musicians and exotic dancers while resolutely refusing to advance the plot.

3) This is also the type of movie in which, once they do get to the plot, you wish they had spent more time with the jazz musicians and exotic dancers.

4) This is the type of movie in which the zombie of the title looks like the recent incarnation of Michael Jackson. With all that funky drumming that goes on during his attack sequences, you’d think he’d have a found a little time to do a moonwalk or something, but no such luck.

5) This is the type of movie in which the zombie gets confused by the fact that there are two women in the house and so kills the wrong one. Good help is so hard to find.

6) This is the type of movie where the sound quality varies each time the story moves to a new location.

7) This is the type of movie with which you can play the DS Alternate Title Game. The game is simple; try to figure out whether the movie you are watching is using its original title or an alternate title just by watching the opening credits. In this case, it’s definitely using the alternate title, as I noticed that the title comes on during a freeze frame of the current action, which jumps ahead several seconds when the rest of the credits roll. This game has become a new hobby of mine.

8) This is the type of movie where the worst actress in the film is playing a character with the same first name as her own. I don’t know about you, but if I ever gave a really stinky performance on stage, I would hope it would with a character that didn’t share my first name.

9) This is the type of movie where, when the voodoo priestess tells the handyman that they have to redo the voodoo ceremony (because the zombie killed the wrong woman), he pauses just long enough for you to figure out that he’d much rather spend his time staring at the pinup on the wall.

10) Finally, this is the type of movie that is directed by a man whose own life story would have made a much better movie. In fact, it did; the character played by Steve McQueen in THE GREAT ESCAPE was loosely based on that of our director, war hero Barry Mahon, who helped build escape tunnels while he was a prisoner at Stalag Luft III. He was also a personal pilot and later a manager for Errol Flynn. He was also the first movie producer to use computer technology in production of theatrical and TV-Movies for Columbia Pictures. I’m glad that in these ways he really made his mark on the world of cinema, because, based on what I’ve seen of his work, I think he’s better off remembered for these other accomplishments than for his abilities as a director.


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