THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES (1966)
Article 2208 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-2-2007
Posting Date: 8-29-2007
Directed by John Gilling
Featuring Andre Morell, Diane Clare, Brook Williams
A doctor visits a former student who practices medicine in a small village in Cornwall. The village has been plagued my mysterious deaths, and bodies have begun to disappear from their graves. The doctor begins to suspect that someone is practicing voodoo.
I was disappointed by this movie when I first saw it years ago because I felt that the zombies were underused; back then, things like that meant a lot to me. Watching it now, I still think that’s somewhat true, and I’m also a little put out by the fact that the scariest scene featuring them turns out to be someone’s dream (though, in all truth, I saw it coming). Nevertheless, I liked it much better this time, largely because I really have grown to appreciate the excellence of Andre Morell’s performance as the doctor searching for the truth; his presence adds a great deal of character and humor to the proceedings, and this makes the movie thoroughly enjoyable throughout. There’s also a nice sense of mystery to the proceedings, and all the other performances are quite good, especially from Diane Clare and Jacqueline Pearce. Originally, I didn’t think it was modeled off of any of the older horror movies, but I couldn’t help but notice that there’s a strong similarity in story to WHITE ZOMBIE . The ending is particularly good here; I especially like the events that ultimately lead to the destruction of the zombies. Though there are some questionable plot elements, I do recognize why this one is a favorite of many Hammer aficionados.