Jerry falls in love with a stripper he meets at a carnival. Little does he know that she is the sister of a gypsy fortune teller whose predictions he had scoffed at earlier. The gypsy turns him into a zombie and he goes on a killing spree.
Ray Dennis Steckler
Ray Dennis Steckler,
The Dead One stars John McKay and Linda Carlton as newlyweds John and Linda (what inspired names!) who, after a tour of New Orleans jazz joints and girlie bars (what new wife doesn't enjoy a visit to a strip joint on her wedding night?), drive to John's ancestral plantation Kenilworth, which he is due to inherit as a result of getting married. En route, the couple stop to help exotic belly dancer Bella Bella (Darlene Myrick), whose car has broken down, and invite her to spend the night at the plantation.
On arrival, John, Linda and Bella are greeted by John's cousin Monica (Monica Davis), current owner of Kenilworth, who isn't at all happy that the property will soon be taken from her. In order to prevent the deeds from being transferred, Monica conducts a voodoo ceremony with the help of her loyal staff, resurrecting her dead brother Jonas (Clyde Kelly) and sending him on a mission to kill John's new wife. Proving that you can't trust a shuffling corpse with even the simplest of tasks, Jonas kills Bella by mistake. On discovering Bella's body, John investigates (leaving his wife alone in the house with a gun) and catches Monica in mid-ritualbut can he save Linda before Jonas carries out his mission?
Directed by Barry Mahon, who would later go on to carve himself quite a career in the 'nudie' film industry, this obscure voodoo zombie film is, like the 'dead one' of the title, a bit of a shambling mess, with unbelievably bad performances, dreadful dialogue, lacklustre direction, and obvious padding in the form of the excessive New Orleans nightlife footage (viewers are treated to two jazz performances and a couple of exotic dances) and overlong voodoo sequences. What is rather remarkable, however, is quality of the crisp, colour-rich photography, which is far better than one might imagine for such a cheap production, and the look of zombie Jonas, who is supremely creepy with his gaunt face, talon-like fingernails and long hair of death (shame that he moves so bloody slow; it detracts slightly from his scariness).
Not great, but worth a look for zombie movie completists and any time-travelling jazz fans planning a trip to 1960s New Orleans.
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