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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 27 August 2015
Set in a Cornish village in 1860, Plague of Zombie's is about the inhabitants of a small town who are dying from a mysterious plague that seems to be spreading at an accelerated rate. local buffoon doctor, Peter Thompson, has failed to do anything about the disease so calls on Sir James Forbes (Morrell) to help. Accompanying Sir James is his daughter Sylvia (the beautiful Diane Claire).

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.
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VINE VOICEon 14 December 2014
Exceptional Blu-ray transfer (and also DVD as this is a dual package) of one of Hammer's better gothic output from the sixties.
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on 22 March 2015
Incredible to think that when "Dracula Prince of Darkness" was billed with "Plague of the Zombies", "Plague..." would end up being the much better movie, despite the fact that the top bill had Lee, Fisher, Shelley and Dracula Prince of Darkness himself to attract the crowds.
But in reality, "Plague..." ends up being the most inventive and fun of the two. This is due to several factors: the screenplay first: zombie meets voodoo meets Victoriana meets whodunnit: makes little sense but all this combined is very entertaining.
Then there are the set designs. Because "Plague" takes place in Cornwall, there is more of an innovative location than seeing Dracula's castle revamped for the upteenth time. Also I must say that the BluRay transfer is neater and more convincing for "Plague" than for "Prince of Darkness".
And then, it saddens me to say that at this stage of his career Terry Fisher is the shadow of his former self while Plague's director John Gilling gives his best Hammer effort here after poor showings in "Shadow of the cat" and "Pirates of Blood River" but a really good sense of drama in "Brigand of Kandahar". The film has good pace, memorable scenes (the nightmare scene, the decapitation of Jacqueline Pearce, the whole finale) and it looks really really well 50 years after having been made.

Lastly the cast: André Morell and John Carson are both phenomenal and carry the film on their shoulders. Michael Ripper remains a great character actor but neither Diane Clare or Brooke Williams are memorable, but it does not really matter. This is a really solid entry from Hammer, embarrassing its more prestigious "Dracula" entry.

The documentary on the film is very entertaining with Jacqueline Pearce bitching about Clare and Williams.
A must-have BluRay.
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on 18 July 2015
no problems at all with this
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on 14 April 2016
Thanks arrived safely and on time
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on 6 December 2015
TOO COOL !!!
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on 3 April 2017
Very atmospheric film.
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“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.”) and it’s even heavily implied he’s had his wicked way with the heroine before he tries to kill her, which seems to be his preferred method of avoiding long-term entanglements.

If Richard Burton’s protégé Williams is a typically nice-but-bland Hammer hero chosen primarily for the ability to pass as coming from the right side of the tracks (not always a priority with Hammer starlets, who could always be – and often were – dubbed), there’s always the ever-excellent Andre Morell on the side of the angels as the distinguished specialist called in from London to diagnose the plague and Michael Ripper, the true face of Hammer, as the local police sergeant. There’s excellent direction from the ever-undervalued John Gilling, good performances, particularly from a superb Jacqueline Pearce (though Diane Clare is pretty bad and the actress dubbing her isn’t much better) and a terrific dream scene with hands clawing up towards the surface and zombies shaking the dirt of the grave from their faces while Roy Ashton’s unsettling zombie make-up makes you wonder if Dick Smith saw the film when deciding on Linda Blair’s demonic look in The Exorcist. Gilling and co-stars Jacqueline Pearce and Michael Ripper would go on to shoot The Reptile on the same sets the same year to less memorable effect, making for an interesting homemade double-bill, but for all the superficial similarities this retains its own unique identity and stands as one of the studio’s best and one of those rare films that seems to get better each time you see it.

Sadly the UK DVD offers no extras, losing it a star - Anchor Bay's US DVD included an episode of the World of Hammer clip show, trailer and 2 TV spots for its double-bill with Frankenstein Created Woman while StudioCanal's UK Blu-ray/DVD combo offers a splendid restoration with a new half hour documentary, episode of World of Hammer and UK trailer.

The UK region B-locked Blu-ray doesn't include the double-bill trailer pairing the film with Dracula, Prince of Darkness that's on the deleted US Anchor Bay DVD and which offers free Dracula fangs for the guys in the audience and zombie eyes for the gals, but it does have a truly excellent restoration (which uses the original UK title sequence, slightly different to the one on Anchor Bay's US DVD) and a very decent extras package - a new 34-minute documentary with Carson and Pearce (who recalls Morell's undisguised contempt for Diane Clare's amateurish performance), an episode of the World of Hammer clip show and trailer.
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on 17 June 2013
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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on 2 June 2007
it wasn't bad at all. The plot is kind of classic but never dull and the actors play their part imaginatively. The special effects are crap but who cares, you don't watch Hammer films for the special effects, I find it even amusing to see fluo red beetroot juice jelly blood. The quality of the DVD is impeccable. Not many "special features" but I've got a life and I'm not geek enough to care.

What I liked most was the camera, always after some witty angles. This gives a nice touch to some scenes otherwise too cliche to be really exciting.

My main regret is that there isn't any "message" to this zombie film. There is normally always some cheap philosophy (sort of) in a zombie film, some world vision, social in particular. Take Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days or even so-called parodies Return of the Living Dead or Shaun of the Dead, what's funky in zombie films is not the dead, but how the living react to the situation, how the social links dissolve to give way to how the author views human interaction within society. Respectively if you take the examples above, and to simplify: racism, consumerism, solitude, irresponsibility, friendship/humour. Well, nothing of that sort, this is hardly a zombie film you might say, rather a detective story, with a Sherlock Holmes and his Dr Watson as heroes against a very British villain. This works well but you find yourself forgetting you're in a zombie film, which is kind of a shame if you like the genre.

Anyway, a very pleasant evening entertainment.
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