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Revenge of the Zombies

USA 1943
produced by
Lindsley Parsons for Monogram
directed by Steve Sekely
starring John Carradine, Gale Storm, Robert Lowery, Bob Steele, Mantan Moreland, Veda Ann Borg, Barry Macollum, Mauritz Hugo, Madame Sul-Te-Wan, James Baskett, Sybil Lewis, Robert Cherry, Franklyn Farnum
written by Edmond Kelso, Van Norcross, musical direction: Edward J.Kay

American World War II Propaganda

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Together with detective Larry Adams (Robert Lowery) and doctor Keating (Barry Macollum), Scott Warrington (Mauritz Hugo) pays a visit to doctor von Altermann's (John Carradine) place deep in the Louisiana swamps to investigate the death of Scott's sister Lila (Veda Ann Borg), von Altermann's wife. There is something about von Altermann's place, about his seemingly lifeless servants, and about Altermann himself, who is a bit evasive about everything while still trying to play the perfect host. And then there's Lila's body, which disappears and reappears several times, and at one point Scott, Larry and Keating all see her on her feet walking ...

Interestingly, it's Scott's black driver Jeff (Mantan Moreland), who's least interested in all of this and would love to be a million miles from here, who first gets an idea what's going on thanks to von Altermann's black staff (Sybil Lewis, Madame Sul-Te-Wan): Doc von Altermann has taken to creating zombies out of living people, and his own wife Lila only seems to be his latest achievement.

What Jeff has not found out though is that von Altermann is actually working for the Nazis, attempting to build Hitler a zombie army. But when he tries to demonstrate his progress to a Nazi agent (Bob Steele), he has to realize his zombiefied wife doesn't obey him any longer, instead makes another disappearance.

That Lila's body has disappeared yet again gets Scott and company on edge, and when Keating is on the verge of finding something out but then disappears as well, Scott insists on calling the sheriff - who promptly arrives, too - but it's only the Nazi agent from earlier, trying to cover for von Altermann. However, when von Altermann later tries to zombify Scott and Larry, the Nazi agent saves Larry and turns out to be a federal agent, and soon the two of them and Jeff face von Altermann in an effort to save Scott. Doc von Altermann though calls his zombie army to turn the tide in his favour - but he hasn't taken into account that the zombies have since been taken over by zombie Lila and listen to her commands, and she wants vengeance on the doc - and ultimately, she sees to it that he becomes a victim of the swamps ...

 

A silly and underbudgeted zombiefilm, this is still fun to watch. After all, it's got Mantan Moreland's spot-on comedy, cowboy star Bob Steele playing a Nazi (and apart from his accent he comes across as quite convincing), and of course the villainy of John Carradine, who admittedly might not have had one of his better days when doing this one, but his performance still works. Sure, the whole thing is directed without imagination, it's storyline features the occasional plothole and leap of reason (like why does a Nazi scientist work in the Louisiana swamps), and the lack of budget at times painfully shows ... but isn't all of this part of the charm of 1940's B-horrors churned out by studios like Monogram?

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD