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Zotz! (1962)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Fantasy | July 1962 (USA)
A professor comes into possession of an amulet with magical powers.

Director:

William Castle

Writers:

Ray Russell (screenplay), Walter Karig (novel)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Tom Poston ... Prof. Jonathan Jones
Julia Meade ... Prof. Virginia Fenster
Jim Backus ... Horatio Kellgore
Fred Clark ... Gen. Bullivar
Cecil Kellaway ... Dean Joshua Updike
Zeme North Zeme North ... Cynthia Jones
Margaret Dumont ... Persephone Updike
James Millhollin ... Dr. Kroner
Carl Don Carl Don ... Josh Bates
Mike Mazurki ... Igor
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Storyline

Jonathan Jones, a professor of ancient languages, comes into possession of an ancient coin. He translates its inscription, which gives him three powers: to inflict pain, slow down time or kill. Soon, he's pursued by enemy spies who have learned about the magic coin. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

'Zotz' has everyone howling! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Moeda Mágica See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Zotz is an existing surname used by people. Walter Karig met one of those people and thought his name was exotic enough to use as a magic word. See more »

Goofs

When cycling, Prof. Jones is nearly run-over by a reversing light coloured sedan. An immediate cut to a left angle camera shows a two tone station wagon. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prof. Jonathan Jones: [studying his niece's breakfast of bacon & eggs] Tsk tsk. Poison. Slow death.
Cynthia Jones: Yes, but what a way to go.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the closing credits, the Torch Lady in the Columbia Pictures logo smiles and says "Zotz all!" See more »

Connections

Features Homicidal (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of the Volga Boatmen
(uncredited)
Traditional Russian folk song
[Snatches in the headlines montage scene]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Clever novel reduced to inane pabulum
23 March 2007 | by grizzledgeezerSee all my reviews

Charles Miller's excellent review pretty much says it all. One can only hope Mr. Karig got a goodly sum for the movie rights. (Yeah. Sure.)

If you have fond memories of this film -- and especially if you don't -- the novel is worth looking up, if only to see (as if you had to be told) how Hollywood hacks like William Castle can ruin an interesting story by assuming the audience is just too stupid to understand anything that might provoke thought. (One might also locate "The Circus of Dr. Lao", to see how George Pal butchered/eviscerated/raped a magnificent novel.)

"Zotz!" the novel is unusual in that it has illustrations -- more like cartoons, actually. The only one I remember is that of a young woman coming to visit Dr. Jones who has her clothes blown off by a lightning strike.

Regardless, your time would be much better spent with the novel than the film. Which is almost always the case.

PS: Since writing this review, I got a copy of the novel and reread it. It's even better than I remembered, but it's not a story that lends itself to a straightforward film adaptation. That, however, does not justify William Castle appropriating the cheaply appealing part of the story, and ignoring everything else. Had he done it "properly", he would have anticipated "Indiana Jones" by 20 years.


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