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The Plague of the Zombies (1966)

Approved | | Horror | 12 January 1966 (USA)
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Young workers are dying because of a mysterious epidemic in a little village in Cornwall. Doctor Thompson is helpless and asks professor James Forbes for help. The professor and his ... See full summary »

Director:

John Gilling

Writer:

Peter Bryan (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
André Morell ... Sir James Forbes
Diane Clare ... Sylvia Forbes
Brook Williams ... Dr. Peter Tompson
Jacqueline Pearce ... Alice Mary Tompson
John Carson ... Squire Clive Hamilton
Alexander Davion ... Denver (as Alex Davion)
Michael Ripper ... Sergeant Jack Swift
Marcus Hammond Marcus Hammond ... Tom Martinus
Dennis Chinnery Dennis Chinnery ... Constable Christian
Louis Mahoney ... Coloured Servant
Roy Royston Roy Royston ... Vicar
Ben Aris Ben Aris ... John Martinus
Tim Condren Tim Condren ... A young blood (as Tim Condron)
Bernard Barnsley Bernard Barnsley ... A young blood (as Bernard Egan)
Norman Mann ... A young blood
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Storyline

Young workers are dying because of a mysterious epidemic in a little village in Cornwall. Doctor Thompson is helpless and asks professor James Forbes for help. The professor and his daughter Sylvia travel to Thomson. Terrible things happen soon, beyond imagination or reality. Dead people are seen near an old, unused mine. Late people seem to live suddenly. Professor Forbes presumes that black magic is involved and someone has extraordinary power. He doesn't know how close he is: the dead become alive because of a magic voodoo-ritual, and so they must serve their master as mindless zombies... Written by Matthias Luehr <mluehr@htwm.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only The Lord Of The Dead Could Unleash Them!

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 January 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Zombies See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Originally shown (in London) in a double billing with Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966). See more »

Goofs

In the waning moments of the film, a man can be seen whipping the zombies in the mines in order to get them to work faster. During several of his lashes, his whip strikes some of the beams supporting the mine and they wiggle dramatically. This indicates that the beams were not only incapable of supporting the mine, but were also not the sturdy wood they appear to be. See more »

Quotes

Sir James Forbes: High-ate-ee is how he pronounces Haiti.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Fright (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Village Of The Undead.
27 October 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Sir James Forbes (André Morell) and his daughter, Sylvia (Diane Clare), are out of the blue requested to travel to a Cornish village by Sir James' former pupil, Dr. Peter Thompson (Brook Williams). The village has become a haven for mysterious deaths and Peter's believes that Sir James can shed some light on the matter. No sooner do they arrive when another victim surfaces and it's quickly becomes evident that something far more sinister than medical problems is at work here.

Hammer Horror tackles the zombie sub-genre with no little amount of success. Directed by John Gilling, The Plague Of The Zombies was filmed back to back with the equally entertaining The Reptile. Filmed out of fortress Hammer that was Bray Studios, the same sets that were used for The Reptile were also used here. With Bernard Robinson's Cornish Village again a treat for sore eyes. 1966 was the last year that Hammer used Bray Studios and it's fitting that it was a year that saw efficient and varying creepers filling out the Hammer Horror cannon. Peter Bryan's story, aided by some interesting imagery, delves into the dark world of witchcraft and voodoo, thus giving this particular "zombie" piece an extra dimension. This is not merely about zombies roaming the countryside and killing indiscriminately. Evil they are of course, but they have a purpose and being that comes to light as the story unfolds. There's also nods to tyranny and exploitation, wryly observed by the makers here, cheekily cloaked in a cloud of rotting flesh.

Technically it holds up rather well too. The effects are strong enough to carry the story, with the zombies eerie personified as they shuffle around all green flesh and grumbling away as we know they should. All captured in deluxe colour that comes out nice in High Definition. The cast are fine, with Morell standing out as he gives his usual classy and professional performance, while James Bernard's score is suitably at one with each and every change of pace. This is not just a fine and under appreciated part of the Hammer Horror output, it's also a worthy and most notable entry in the "zombie" genre. See it if you can. 7/10


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