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The Plague of The Zombies [DVD] [1966]


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Product details

  • Actors: André Morell, Diane Clare, Jacqueline Pearce, John Carson, Brook Williams
  • Directors: John Gilling
  • Producers: Anthony Nelson-Keys
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Widescreen, Anamorphic
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jan 2007
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KRMZPQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,391 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

A Cornish squire invokes ancient voodoo rituals to raise zombies from the dead, intending to use them to work his tin mines. However, when the cult which builds up around the zombies is threatened with exposure, it responds by attempting to sacrifice the suspicious parties...

From Amazon.co.uk

A Victorian Cornish tin-mining village suffers a series of mysterious deaths and the local doctor's old professor, Sir James Forbes (Andre Morell), comes to investigate. Graves are empty, a man who has just been buried is seen on the moors and the Squire is up to his neck in camp voodoo rituals. Though containing one genuinely disturbing graveyard sequence involving the undead, The Plague of the Zombies is more a feverish black-magic thriller, the real threat coming from the malevolent Squire Clive Hamilton (John Carson) and his upper-class cronies. Indeed, the portrayal of fox-hunters as shockingly brutal thugs is remarkable for 1966, and while the genre horror is dated, the real horror is in the extreme class warfare which drives the plot. Less famous than Hammer's Dracula and Frankenstein films, this is nevertheless a gripping, stylish picture from The Studio that Dripped Blood. Depending not on gore but on story, acting and atmosphere, it continues the tradition of Val Lewton's I Walked With a Zombie (1943) and, pre-dating The Night of the Living Dead (1968), is the last old-style zombie classics. Blake's Seven fans will be delighted by an early lead role for Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan), who the same year starred in Hammer's The Reptile. --Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RickAnne on 17 Jun 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Plague Of The Zombies is one of my favourite Hammer Horrors. I was introduced to it in my early years when the B.B.C put a double feature of horror movies on under the banner, 'Dracula, Frankenstein & Friends'. As well as being introduced to the Universal classics (Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney etc) we were treated to these wonderful colour gems from the Hammer stable. This BluRay looks fantastic, & the powers at be (in this case, StudioCanal) have done a fantastic job, with some nice little extras to boot. A must have for all Hammer fans.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By LXIX TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Jan 2008
Format: DVD
This film is fine and has a strong and commanding lead role by Andre Morell. It's a good story, is well put together, and interestingly is set in 1860 in darkest Cornwall (and not as you would perhaps expect in the Caribbean, or Haiti in particular).

Sir James Forbes, an eminent professor of medicine at London University, receives a troublesome letter from one of his former protege students and decides, along with his pretty daughter, Sylvia, to visit him.

In the Cornish village, 13 people have died within a year and all under mysterious circumstances. Suspiciously, the local squire will not authorise any autopsies. The doctors decide to investigate and in doing so uncover empty coffins, voodoo practice, strange going-ons at a disused tin mine and, ultimately, as the title suggests, a plague of zombies.

Diane Clare plays the role of the voluptuous Victorian beauty and overall this is a decent 86 minute offering from the Hammer team.

The dream scene is particularly memorable and is a famous slice of 60's horror (remember that this film was actually made before 'Night of the Living Dead').

It is ironic that the human psyche naturally fears the idea of zombies but, at the same time, a belief in life after death is a basic tenet of most world religions.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Redfearn TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Jan 2005
Format: DVD
This film made back to back with The Reptile is actually one of Hammers most popular films. A fine cast, decent sets, a good script and a really good dream sequence when the zombies emerge from their graves make it a really good watch indeed. Also includes the lovely Jacqueline Pearce who is fondly remembered for her role in Blakes Seven a few years back. Overall, a fine effort worth adding to any DVD collection. Good picture and sound too.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The image of the zombie holding Jacqueline Pearce has been with me since I acquired my first horror magazine, 'Monster Mania', when I was still at junior school. It must have been some years before I saw the movie itself, because we all had to wait in those days for Hammer, AIP etc. to show up on (most likely) BBC2 on a Friday night.
This is classic, mid-period Hammer (they were going off the boil by now), featuring the superb (and highly underrated) John Carson as the voodoo-meddling villain and Andre Morrell as the Van Helsing-type character, Sir James. Brook Williams is perfect as the ineffectual doctor, and the only weak link is Diane Clare, who really couldn't act and, I'm afraid, wasn't sexy enough for Hammer. (I'm afraid they hadn't yet discovered the likes of Linda Hayden). No George Woodbridge, but Michael Ripper is on hand as the village police sergeant.
You have to hand it to Hammer, they could dish it out from time to time, even when Terence Fisher wasn't helming the film. The early ones have a real period charm now and 'Plague Of The Zombies' just about manages to fall into this category.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 April 2005
Format: VHS Tape
"The Plague of Zombies" is the only Hammer film to deal with that particular type of walking dead and one of the studio's better efforts once you get past the idea of the voodoo of Haiti being used in Cornwall to solve a labor shortage. The film begins with an intense voodoo ceremony that somehow disturbs the sleep of Alice Tompson (Jaqueline Pearce). She happens to be the wife of Dr. Peter Tompson (Brook Williams), the physician of a small Cornish village whose patients have been dying due to some mysterious malady that he can not even diagnose let alone cure. The good doctor's mentor Sir James Forbes (Andre Morell) has traveled with his daughter Sylvia (Diana Clare) to see if he can help. While the women have a run in with Clive Hamilton (John Carson), the local squire (and the obvious man behind all the evil doings), the physicians find they cannot do any autopsies because all of the graves of the recent dead are empty!
The most memorable moment in this film is when Peter passes out and the dead erupt from their graves in a dream sequence. Ultimately the film suffers from the fact that the audience is so far ahead of the characters in terms of figuring out the mystery. Of course Hamilton spent years in Haiti and is using the dead to work his otherwise unprofitable tin mine. The mysteries are only mysteries because Peter Bryan's script says they are mysteries. However, "Plague of Zombies" does remind us of what the term "zombies" meant before the flesh-eating corpses of George Romero et al. Note: This 1966 film was shot on the same sets as "The Reptile," also directed by John Gilling and also set in Cornwall, but the production crew does a nice job of redressing everything so its hard to tell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 1 Mar 2014
Format: DVD
“This isn’t London, sir. This is a Cornish village inhabited by simple country people, riddled with superstition and all dominated by a squire. He acts as coroner and magistrate, judge and jury.”

Although not among their best known, The Plague of the Zombies is one of Hammer’s very best, and a very different take on the genre than that George A. Romero would usher in only two years later. For a start it’s a period piece and its zombies are more victims than flesh-eating fiends, the result of a curious plague that begins with lethargy and ends with living death that’s baffled local doctor Brook Williams and is threatening to take the life of both his wife and his mentor’s daughter.

You don’t have to look far for who’s responsible: back from foreign parts with a lot of money and the kind of friends Sir Hugo Baskerville would have hung out with before running into that large canine on the moors, John Carson’s dissolute squire has taken a leaf from Murder Legendre’s book of labour relations to deal with the local manpower shortage and is killing off and raising the locals from the dead to work in his dangerous abandoned tin mine. And what a quite splendid villain the silken-voiced Carson is. Coming across as James Mason’s (more) evil brother, he avoids pure melodrama in a part that would have seen many chewing the scenery by exuding aristocratic indifference from every pore whenever confronted by his many social inferiors who are barely worth his contempt, is proud of his non-conformity (“In order to be popular, one must conform. I find that too big a price to pay. I have my own standards. I conform to them.
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