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Agent Bill Summers (John Archer), is on a special mission to find
admiral Wainwright (Guy Usher), who holds important military information
(it is World War 2 after all) and who has disappeared somewhere in the
Caribbean sea. Then though, Summer's plane has to make an emergency
landing on some island on the Caribbean sea as well, and soon he, his
butler Jefferson (Mantan Moreland) and his pilot Mac (Dick Purcell) find
themselves in a spooky old house that belongs to Doctor Sangre (Henry
Victor), a German fugitive, who seems to be the perfect host, ... to
Summers and Mac at least, Jefferson he has removed to the servant
quarters ... where Jefferson learns from lovely servant girl Samantha
(Marguerite Whitten) about the zombies the doctor likes to keep - but when
Jefferson tries to tell that to Summers and Mac, twice, the Doctor
denies everything and ridicules his story ... and the others are
likely to believe Sanre - until a ghostly woman (who later turns out to be
Sangre's wife Alice [Patricia Stacey]) - pays them a visit at night, after
which our heroes go inestigating, and find out quite a few things: that
there are secret pasageways all over the hozuse, that there really are
zombies, and that Sangre has possibly hypnotized his wife into
and in Sangre's young, lovely niece Barbara (Joan Woodbury),
they find an unexpected ally.
The next day, our three heroes continue
their investigations, but soon Mac is lost in the jungle and eventually
turns up dead, and Jefferson is zombified as well (even if that doesn't
seem to really work). It also turns out that Sangre really is a German spy
and the admiral is his prisoner. and as soon as Jefferson is
dezonmbified, he and Summers crash a weird voodoo ritual during which
Sangre tries to transfer the admiral's mind into Barbara. Sangre tries to
order his zombies, led by now zombified Mac, to kill Summers, but Summers
can persuade his friend to attack (and eentually kill) Sangre instead.
the end, the admiral is saved, Summers and Barbara are a couple, and even Mac got better from having died turned into a zombie
A blend of old dark house thriller, all-out-zombie horror, and
farce peppered with an espionage plot .... and somehow this mix
doesn't work all that well, as the story seems to be too confused (and
confusing) and the horror seems to be never really taking off. Most of
the actors, too, are rather uninteresting, only black comedian Mantan
Moreland is great as usual, and in some scenes Marguerite Whitten as
servant girl Samantha gives him able support - which does make the movie
watchable after all (best Mantan-line: after he has been zombified, he
addresses the other zombies "move over boys, I'm one of the gang
For some weird reason, the music of this film was
nominated for an Oscar.
those inclined, also check out the video review of King of the Zombies
I did with filmmaker Sean Weathers, with the movie in its entirety playing