5.3/10
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85 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.

Director:

Jean Yarbrough

Writer:

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

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Cast

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 Madame Sul-Te-Wan ... Tahama
James Davis James Davis ... Lazarus (as Jimmy Davis)
Laurence Criner Laurence Criner ... Dr. Couillie (as Lawrence Criner)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 May 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El rey de los zombies See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest documented telecast of this film took place in Chicago Tuesday 11 January 1949 on WBKB (Channel 4), followed by Los Angeles Tuesday 15 March 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5), by Cincinnati Friday 24 June 1949 on WKRC (Channel 11), by Detroit Monday 22 August 1949 on WXYZ (Channel 7), and by New York City Thursday 14 September 1950 on the DuMont Television Network's WABD (Channel 5). See more »

Goofs

Dr. Sangre tells Mac that his sleeping quarters adjoin Bill's, but later in the film Bill and Mac are seen sharing a bed, with no explanation. See more »

Quotes

Samantha, the Maid: What you doing in that lineup?
Jefferson 'Jeff' Jackson: Don't bother me woman. Can't you see I is a has-been?
Samantha, the Maid: A zombie?
Jefferson 'Jeff' Jackson: Nothing else but. And don't ask me my name, 'cuz I don't know. I don't know nothing.
Samantha, the Maid: You ain't no zombie, 'cuz zombies can't talk.
Jefferson 'Jeff' Jackson: Can I help it 'cuz I'm loquacious?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shaun of the Dead (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Mr. Bill, them is the joyfulest words I ever heard."
30 January 2017 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Horror comedy from Monogram starring Mantan Moreland and a couple of forgettable bores. I'm not a big fan of Moreland but I'll admit he outshines these two guys by a country mile. It's basically an old dark house film with the three men stranded in said house on an island with a mad scientist (Henry Victor in a role originally meant for Bela Lugosi).

There's a lot of stuff about voodoo and zombies, which is just an excuse to let Moreland do his bug-eyed double-takes and "afraid of spooks" routine. This is the part of Moreland's comedy shtick that I have never enjoyed. And it's not because of the offensive racial element of it, but rather because I'm not enamored with comedians who rely heavily on goofy facial expressions for laughs. I've voiced the same complaints about the likes of Red Skelton and Huntz Hall. But there is a part of Moreland's act I do like and that's when he falls back into his vaudeville routine of having a snappy back and forth with another actor. We see a bit of that here when he shares scenes with the maid (played by Marguerite Whitten). Those scenes were my favorite parts of the movie.

Anyway, the horror isn't all it's teased to be as there's an espionage plot that's a lot less interesting. It was 1941, after all. It's not a great movie but it's not terrible by Poverty Row standards. It moves along quickly enough, which helps. But the entire film rests on Moreland's shoulders. If you love him, you'll probably laugh your tail off watching this. If you don't, this will go over like a lead balloon.


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