REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES (1976)
Article 2845 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-21-2009
Posting Date: 5-28-2009
Directed by Meng Hua Ho
Featuring Lung Ti, Ni Tien, Lily Li
Country: Hong Kong/Indonesia/Singapore
Medical doctors begin to suspect that a series of baffling illnesses are the work of a warlock at loose in the city.
This is the first horror movie I’ve seen to hail from the Shaw Brothers in Hong Kong; I can’t quite count THE SEVEN BROTHERS MEET DRACULA, because that was at least half a Hammer movie. I’ve heard some of the Shaw Brothers movies can be pretty wild, and having seen this one, I can attest to that. It’s definitely not for the squeamish; the fact that my print is a little too dark to make out some of the details doesn’t change the fact that you know what you’re supposed to be seeing. Perhaps the best way to describe this movie is to give you a quick rundown of some of the more memorable images and concepts.
1) You see a crocodile killed and eviscerated.
2) You see an autopsy performed on a worm-eaten corpse in a grave.
3) The evil magician keeps himself young by drinking human milk.
4) The zombies are animated by having metal spikes driven into their skulls. They are destroyed by having those spikes removed.
5) Some of the zombies hop. I’ve heard that some of these movies feature hopping vampires, but I didn’t know they had hopping zombies as well.
6) A good magician comes to the aid of the doctor who is battling the evil magician. Unfortunately, the good magician is mortally wounded, and he passes his powers on to the doctor by giving him a magic amulet and telling him he has to eat the magician’s eyes.
The end result of this is an almost jaw-droppingly bizarre horror movie. It’s certainly not dull, and the story is fairly coherent, even if some of the heroes act with consummate stupidity at times; really, shouldn’t there be a better way of convincing the skeptical doctor that black magic exists other than putting themselves at the mercy of the evil warlock? At this point, I can’t really come up with a critical assessment of this one; I still can hardly take in what I’ve seen. Perhaps after I’ve seen a few more of these types of movies, I’ll have the ability to make a better assessment.