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Plague of the Zombies (Blu-ray + DVD) 
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In a remote 19th-century Cornish village, an evil presence lurks within the darkness of the witching hour, a mysterious plague relentlessly taking lives at an unstoppable rate. Unable to find the cause, Dr. Peter Tompson enlists the help of his former tutor Sir James Forbes. Desperate to find an antidote, what they find instead are empty coffins with the diseased corpses missing. Following a series of strange and frightening clues, Tompson and Forbes are led to a deserted mine where they discover a world of black magic and a doomed legion of flesh eating slaves... the walking dead.
• World of Hammer episode ‘Mummies, Werewolves And The Living Dead’
• Brand new documentary: ‘Raising The Dead’
• Restoration comparison
• Restored trailer
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Plague is a outstanding Hammer film. Although a few seem to dislike it (mainly on the grounds Lee and Cushing aren't in it) you'd be downright idiotic to miss this great film. A great story, fantastically paced, well directed (especially the dream scene), great actors, it's one of Hammer's finest no doubt. This Blu Ray is a great remastering, losing none of the quality to DNR, so it retains the grain but also the colour and tonal quality.
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.Read more ›
UPDATE: This refers to the Studio Canal blu ray version which has been well restored with a lovely picture quality. Although my earlier comments still stand, this is a better effort than some other Hammer films (excluding their Dracula & Frankenstein masterpieces, that is). I hadn't realised POTZ was shot in 1965 until the end as the film has a sort of 1970s feel to it. The scene where a zombie is awaking from his grave and shuffles his head from side to side to remove the dirt from his face is most effective! The camerawork during the awing of the zombies at night is beautifully filmed with various filters giving a fitting and memorable tint to them. In all then, a creditable film that passes the time adeptly. The picture quality of this blu ray is v good too.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredible to think that when "Dracula Prince of Darkness" was billed with "Plague of the Zombies", "Plague... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Autonome
One of the best hammer horrors from 1966. and what a great cast too starring Andre Morell, John Carson, Jacqueline Pearce,Diane Clare, Brook Williams, and good old Michael Ripper. Read morePublished 17 months ago by joe kidd
I have the old Anchor bay DVD release of this classic Hammer film
so when i found out that U.K. Read more
Exceptional Blu-ray transfer (and also DVD as this is a dual package) of one of Hammer's better gothic output from the sixties.Published 19 months ago by P Goodhead
I love this film. I saw this for the first time a couple of weeks ago on the horror channel and I really enjoyed it. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mothercat
...but doesn't bear much re-watching. It's good to see zombies portrayed as something other than athletic cannibals and there are some genuinely creepy moments. Read morePublished on 18 Jun. 2014 by Jay