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King of the Zombies [DVD] [1941] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Dick Purcell , Joan Woodbury , Jean Yarbrough    DVD

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MANTAN MAKES THIS FUN MONOGRAM FARCE GO 6 Dec 2004
By Tim Janson - Published on
During WWII, a Govt, Agent Bill summers (John Archer) is searching for an admiral whose plan went down somewhere in the Caribbean. He's accompanied by the search plane pilot "Mac" (Dick Purcell) and his servant Jeff Jackson(Mantan Moreland).

While searching, their own plane goes down and crashes into a cemetary on an island. They are taken into the residence by Dutch Dr. Sangre who claims to have fled there from the Nazis. He's accompanied by his wife who walks around in a trance-like state.

Not only that, but there's several black zombies skulking about the creepy house that only Jeff ever seems to encounter. It's soon revealed that Dr. Sangre is a nazi conspirator who has the Admiral captured and is using a voodoo priestess to try and get sensitive military info out of him.

Along the way Jeff get's "Zombie-fied" by the doctor in the movie's funniest bit. This film really seemed to be a vehicle for Lugosi in the role of the mad doctor Sangre but Henry Victor does an admirable job.

Mantan steals the show with his one-liners and really brings some life to the film. Purcell is ok as the pilot but Archer is REALLY wooden as the would-be hero.

Yes it is a bit racially stereotyped as Jeff his told that he cannot stay in a guest room and must instead stay with the other black servants. But instead of running it down lets rememeber the era that the film was made in. No one should much feel sorry for Mantan Moreland as he steals virtually every scene he's in.

The film is no gem but has some fairly atmospheric creepiness and better than average Monogram film.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars king of the zombies 27 Jan 2002
By Jeffrey W. Johnson - Published on
Format:VHS Tape
King Of The Zombies is a very fun movie for the entire family to enjoy...This film stars comedian Mantan Moreland who is one of the funniest men ever in movies...Although the film is very low budget it is well worth watching or buying just to see Mantan Moreland...Watching this film is time well spent and will make you feel better and laugh more than you ever have...I would advise any serious movie fan to watch this almost forgotten classic and enjoy it again and again...thanks...Jeff Johnson
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some horror but more fun. 13 Oct 2009
By L. Kingery - Published on
This review is of the Movie "King of the Zombies"..I have not purchased this DVD listed as.."Remastered Edition"...and would like to know just what it contain's to make it sell for $14.00? As I write this, I just finished watching the movie on a new movie channel here In KC.MO...and had not seen it before. I like it and part of the reason was due to, "Mantan Moreland" I had not seen him in anything other than the Charilie Chan Movie's...and always felt the Chan movie's were good due to a large part that Mantan Moreland was in them. He always played the part of the scared stiff in those movies and does so in this one. This movie is Pretty much about a plane heading to the off course and crashed on this little island..when they find themselves in a house with "Zombies". When I finish with the review, I will see if there are any review's about this movie on the other DVD offered. I would like to see if it give's any details about that DVD that is different than the one offered here for $14. The price of the other one is it is worth the price and I would pay a lot more for it..just because Mantan Moreland is in it. I grew up watching these kind of movies in the late 50' I always look forward to seeing them again. Of course most of the time, the are not the great movie I remember...but still worth watching again...and since I had not seen this one before, it was a pleasure to watch..The other actors were very reconizable and played in many movie's like this back then. I felt they were good actor's then and still today I think so.<>Lon<>
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK Copy? 20 Feb 2002
By C. Cox - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of the reviews for this DVD actually refers to another edition which was paired on a double feature with 'Revolt of the Zombies'.
I haven't heard any complaints about the print quality on this particular release.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where Do These Titles Come From? 3 Oct 2007
By Lonnie E. Holder - Published on
This movie appears to be an attempt to capitalize on every possible contemporary issue and popular subject of the late 1930's and early 1940's. There are spies, Nazis, zombies and an African American comedian thrown in for good measure. I would say the director threw in everything but the kitchen sink, but there was one of those too. The primary plot is generally dull and lifeless, but the comedy in this movie is classic.

Our story begins with three people in an airplane lost over the ocean. They desperately scan for a radio beacon to find an airport, finding instead a suspicious radio conversation. The trio, James "Mac" McCarthy (Dick Purcell, who managed 74 film appearances before his untimely death in 1944), his servant Jefferson "Jeff" Jackson (comedian Mantan Moreland, who is one of the best things about this movie; Moreland became a regular in the Charlie Chan movies of the 1940's), and pilot Bill Summers (John Archer, who was near the beginning of a career that would eventually span 60 years) crash onto the island and discover suspicious happenings.

We soon learn that an admiral is missing, and that can only mean one thing. Yep, you got it; the admiral has to be on the island somewhere. The local guy in power appears to be Dr. Miklos Sangre (Henry Victor, who appeared in many spy movies as well as the cult classic "Freaks"). He has assorted house guests, including a bevy of genuine zombies. We also learn that Dr. Sangre is attempting to use voodoo to gain the secrets of the admiral.

Most of this movie was bizarre. I kept wondering why the various characters did the things they did. The one thing that made this movie survivable was the antics of Mantan Moreland and beautiful Marguerite Whitten as Samantha the maid. Both actors were far superior to any of the other actors in this movie. Moreland's style of comedy may seem to step too closely to the degrading stereotypes of the era, but it was also evident that servant Jeff Jackson and maid Samantha were the only two characters who knew what was really going on and were the only characters smart enough to stay out of the way of trouble. Moreland's lead in taking the zombies to dinner is easily the best part of this movie and that scene showcased the talents of both performers.

My first impression of this movie is that it tried to squeeze too many subplots into its short length. We have Nazis, zombies, a missing admiral, a love story, a crash and more. The director avoided the problem caused by having a lot of plots by spending very little time on developing any of the plots. I thought this movie was about the missing admiral, but the movie seemed to wander around for a while and the missing admiral got very little face time until near the end of the movie. Even after watching the movie the most memorable portions were those featuring Moreland and Whitten. My general impression is that this movie is a comedy that also has some stuff about zombies and an admiral in it. At least, that is the way I am going to remember the movie.

I could easily dismiss this movie as worthless, and it nearly is. However, all the scenes with Moreland and Whitten were enjoyable. Whitten was a wonderfully smooth actress who commanded her role. Moreland is a natural comedian whose presence made him the focus of every scene he was in. This movie is rare in that African American performers were the lead characters in several scenes though Caucasian performers were the nominal stars of the movie. I recommend this movie for the presence of these two stars. However, be aware that much of the humor in this movie would be considered unacceptable by today's standards.

Before I forget, the title of this movie borders on the absurd. Dr. Sangre was a Nazi experimenting with hypnosis and voodoo. He was far from the "King of the Zombies." Sometimes movie titles are more impressive than the movies themselves.

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