(Review originally written at 12 January 2006)

It's really a shame Hammer didn't made more zombie movies after this one.

Pre-"Night of the Living Dead" made zombie movie always had a fantastic stylish and creepy atmosphere. Examples of this are movies like "White Zombie", "I Walked with a Zombie" and also most certainly this movie. It weren't movies with real scares in it but it more were movies with a well build up tension and a consistent mysterious and creepy atmosphere. After "Night of the Living Dead" zombie movies were never the same again. Had Hammer continued making zombie movies after this movie, perhaps the genre of stylish atmospheric zombie movies would still be around these days.

This is a slowly told- and build up movie. It takes it time to set-up the right atmosphere and tension. It makes this movie a mysterious one, that was made with lots of style. Wonderfully directed by John Gilling all! He never chooses to over-do things in this movie, even though he could had easily done this. The zombies are not portrayed as horror-characters but more as servants that obey their master. There aren't really many well known Hammer horror elements present in the movie or story, which will perhaps disappoint the hardened Hammer fan.

It's a bit of a shame that there aren't really well known Hammer actors in this movie. The movie could had really done good with Peter Cushing and/or Christopher Lee in it. That doesn't of course mean that the actors in this movie aren't much good. André Morell is a fantastic actor and he played in classics like; "The Hound of the Baskervilles", "Ben-Hur", "Barry Lyndon" and "The Bridge on the River Kwai". He has a wonderful voice and accent. Also great was John Carson as the charismatic 'villain'.

This movie might perhaps bore some people, since it isn't fast paced and it doesn't feature any formulaic horror sequences but I still feel that everyone must be able to appreciate this movie its atmosphere and the mystery elements.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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