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 ...
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Thrown out of his monestary for licentious and drunken behaviour, Rasputin travels to St Petersburg to try his luck. Through a daliance with one of the czarina's ladies in waiting he soon ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Filmed back-to-back with The Reptile (1966), using many of the same sets, most noticeably the main village set on the back lot at Bray Studios. See more »
Immediately after Denver is struck down during the struggle with Sir Forbes, he lands face down with his left arm inside the fireplace and his left arm catches on fire, but in the next shot he is facing up, and it's his right arm that is on fire. See more »
Sir James Forbes:
I, I find all kinds of witchcraft slightly nauseating and this I find absolutely disgusting.
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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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