During World War 2, a small plane off the south coast of America is low on fuel and blown off course by a storm. Guided by a faint radio signal, they crashland on an island. The passenger, his manservant and the pilot take refuge in a mansion owned by a doctor. The easily-spooked manservant soon becomes convinced the mansion is haunted by zombies and ghosts. Exploring, the 3 find a voodoo ritual in the cellar, where the doctor is trying to acquire war intelligence by transferring personalities into his zombies. But the interruption causes the zombies to turn on their creator. Written by
Cynan Rees <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Produced and released prior to Pearl Harbor, the film oddly dances around blatant references to Nazi Germany. While the villain is decidedly Germanic, radio traffic is spoken in German and there's spoken references to spying, neither Germany or Nazis are ever overtly mentioned. The plot, described in the presskit describes the evil Dr. Sangre as "a secret agent for a European government." The powers at Monogram were probably acutely mindful of the problems independent producer Ben Judell encountered when trying to exhibit Hitler - Beast of Berlin (1939) two years earlier. That film was unable to pass local pro-Germany censorship boards and Judell went broke. See more »
As the plane crash lands on the island, the wire holding it in the air can be seen. See more »
Voodoo zombies and racial stereotypes abound in this horror comedy; "It's feeding time and dey likes dark meat"
This old school voodoo zombie film was made during Hollywood's horror spoof cycle, so the comedic elements take over instead of giving us a great horror movie. This actually had potential, but goofy Hollywood at that time dropped the ball on the horror genre for a good decade or two. This is even a decade before the Abbott and Costello ruin Universal Monsters series.
Mantan Moreland, with his reactions and comedic timing, steals the movie as a central character here, the colored servant in this film made in racist comedy times. Dey's lotsa racial stereotype humor here dat's sad looking back at Hollywood's historical treatment of da black man, but entertaining due to a great performance by a black man in a white man's film where the company Monogram gave him fairly high billing in the credits. I'm sure at the time it was thought to be hilarious, but it's hard to look at films of that time the same way in more recent enlightened times. Despite the political incorrectness, Moreland's comedic talent is evident and zombie fans will find there are some fun quotes here about the walking dead.
STORY: Government man's plane crash-lands on island while searching for a missing Admiral during WWII. They stay at the mansion of a 'doctor'; a house that the man's black servant thinks is crawling with voodoo zombies. They initially dismiss his superstitions while searching for a 2-way radio, but things with their host start getting mighty suspicious and they realize he might be right.
DE-ANIMATION METHODS: Apparently if a zombie eats salt they 'dries up and gets dead again', so zombies eat bland food.
There is some good atmosphere here and it could've made a credible horror film, but it still works as a good (if somewhat dated) comedy starring a great performer whom was later criticized for making a career out of playing up racial stereotypes. I recommend the movie mostly for his performance; just take it with a grain of salt I also recommended this for voodoo zombie fans; just go in knowing it's a comedy.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?