Yeah, I know this was all over Facebook yesterday, but damn if I’m not going to help spread the word a bit more! While I may be a huge Hammer fan, their 1966 film The Plague of the Zombies is one of my all time favorites of theirs. So I am more than thrilled to see this hit Blu-ray, thanks to Shout Factory!
This was Hammer’s only movie that dealt with zombies, though these are the voodoo type, not the flesh-eating type. Maybe because Romero didn’t unleash his until two years later. But this is a prime example of what Hammer did best. They had an great cast with two powerful leads, André Morell as Sir James Forbes and John Carson as Squire Hamilton. Morell is so much fun to watch, being so proper and the whole stiff upper lip, but yet still has a dark sense of humor. Carson, who plays the villain, was born to play this part. Whether it is his voice, which is very similar sounding to James Mason, or his evil stare, that can easily hide behind a smile. Of course, throw in Michael Ripper in a minor role, and it makes it even better!
Another reason these films hold up as well as they do, some 50 years later, is also the highly underrated makeup department they had. Roy Ashton was the one responsible for not only the look of the actual zombies, but the voodoo priests masks, which I’ve always found as memorable as the zombies!
If you’ve never seen this one, then you should be adding this to your Must Buy list. Set to be released on January 15th, but the extras haven’t been announced yet. If you want to pre-order it from Shout Factory, just click HERE. If you do order it from Shout Factory, you’ll get it shipped two weeks early!