93 user 39 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


Don't miss this shock-crammed punch-packed double thriller-chiller terror program! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


First telecast in New York on 28 April 1949 on WCBS (Channel 2). 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 »


[first lines]
James McCarthy: Hello? McCarthy calling. McCarthy calling. Hello?
Bill Summers: Any luck, Mac?
James McCarthy: Nah, I can't even scare up a news broadcast.
Bill Summers: Where do you think we are?
James McCarthy: Search me. We lost the beam hours ago. Probably somewhere between Cuba nad Puerto Rico.
Jeff: Is it that bad?
James McCarthy: It ain't good.
Jeff: Uh-oh. I knowed I wasn't cut out to be no blackbird.
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Featured in Vampira and Me (2012) See more »

User Reviews

Mantan Moreland is a hoot
1 August 2005 | by pam-lunnSee all my reviews

This little gem of a movie is actually better than it should be considering it is a Monogram picture with a low budget and unfortunate racial stereotypes which were typical for the early 1940's.

Mantan Moreland is the star of this picture. He was a great comedic actor who was stereotyped into playing the dimwitted servant in most of his movies, but he really shines in this picture. I laughed out loud when he tells his boss that he had been "zombiefied". Every scene he is in he steals. This picture was billed as a horror movie, but it is actually a comedy. There is nothing remotely scary about the plot, which involves a German doctor who has taken over an island and is turning the natives into zombies while trying to get classified secrets from a captured American admiral through the use of hypnosis. I really enjoyed this movie despite the cheap sets, silly plot and racial stereotypes. If you want a good laugh on a Saturday afternoon, then pop some popcorn and sit back and enjoy Mantan Moreland. He more than makes up for this movie's deficiencies.

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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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