93 user 36 critic

King of the Zombies (1941)

Passed | | Adventure, Comedy, Horror | 14 May 1941 (USA)
On a spooky island, three stranded travelers find an evil doctor working with foreign spies and in control of zombies.


Jean Yarbrough


Edmond Kelso (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Dick Purcell ... James McCarthy
Joan Woodbury ... Barbara Winslow
Mantan Moreland ... Jeff
Henry Victor ... Dr. Miklos Sangre
John Archer ... Bill Summers
Patricia Stacey Patricia Stacey ... Alyce Sangre
Guy Usher Guy Usher ... Adm. Wainwright
Marguerite Whitten Marguerite Whitten ... Samantha
Leigh Whipper Leigh Whipper ... Momba
Madame Sul-Te-Wan ... Tahama
James Davis James Davis ... Lazarus (as Jimmy Davis)
Laurence Criner Laurence Criner ... Dr. Couillie (as Lawrence Criner)


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 <cynanrees@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Blood-chilling revelations of the weird cult that practices its black magic in the impenetrable jungles of Central America! (original poster) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The aircraft in this film is a Capelis XC-12. See more »


When Dr. Sangre is showing Bill and Mac their quarters, the boom mic shadow is often visible on the wall with the entry door. See more »


Jefferson 'Jeff' Jackson: [hearing voodoo drums] It ain't Gene Krupa!
[famous American drummer of the 1940s]
See more »

User Reviews

Mantan Moreland was great!
27 August 2004 | by stevehaynieSee all my reviews

Mantan Moreland really shines in this movie. He was a great character actor, and he had a LOT of screen time in King Of The Zombies. He wasn't a supporting character in King Of The Zombies; his part was equal among the main players and his name shared equal billing in the opening credits.

Forget what others say about racial stereotyping and enjoy his performance. The man worked with what he was given and took it to as much of a polished performance as possible. Blame Hollywood, not the actor, if you don't like his performance. His takes and reactions were superb. Smiley Burnette and Lou Costello did the same thing in "scary" situations, but Mantan Moreland had a flair for the comedy take that set him apart. He really was great on screen.

King Of The Zombies itself is not the best for a mystery/adventure movie from the time period, but it has the right feel for the time period if you like old movies. All the right elements are there for a fun movie. Why it doesn't really work better is a mystery. Don't expect too much and you will have a good time watching this one.

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Release Date:

14 May 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

King of the Zombies See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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