This is a truly old-school zombie flick all the way from 1943!
Actually this movie is a sequel to another film I talked about a little while back called King of the Zombies. (You can check that review out here.) It was before I started using the good, the bad and the ugly in my movie reviews and a bit more to the point.
I love classic movie posters. I’ve often said how bad I think poster images are when they just jam a bunch of disparate photos together to make a new image yet it seems to work so much better in older posters. There was something forgiving about the rough quality of those images that I love.
On this poster I love the way the woman on the bottom left is looking up at the huge figure of the doctor on the right. Her gaze takes us right through the names o the supporting actors. And what names! Gale Storm! She could be an X-man. Bob Steele! You know he has an awesome superpower. Robert Lowery! Hmm, Maybe a lawyer? But a classic type like the ones in Gary Cooper movies. And of course Mantan Moreland. He’s an interesting character. I talked about him a bit in my review of King of the Zombies so be sure to check that out.
And of course don’t forget top billing going to John Carradine the classic actor and patriarch to the Carradine family. You are sure to have seen something with him or one of his actor kids in it. (Most likely David.)
– It’s short.
– The plot revolves around a Nazi agent turning people into zombies to be a part of his army of the undead. Something to keep in mind about this movie as opposed to it’s predecessor relates to the Nazis.
“One point of note of King of the Zombies is that the bad guys are apparently Nazis. At the time the movie was made America hadn’t entered the war yet and the Nazis were on the march across Europe. So it fit the atmosphere at the time to have the bad guys be some sort of spies from Europe although they are never clearly identified as begin Nazis at the time.”
By the time Revenge was being made the war was in full swing so openly identifying the bad guys as nazis made perfect sense.
– Although it’s a sequel, you would never know it. There is virtually no connection between this movie and the original except for Mantan Moreland’s character who is meant to be the same person.
-This movie is full of the sorts of visuals and conventions of it’s time. I can’t say this is so bad in context but does make for some off-putting viewing for modern audiences. You’ll see all sorts of things like the roads cut off and impassable cliche’, the film sped up for comic affect, a person named Lazarus in a zombie flick, people robotically sitting up in their coffins, a lady in white skulking about a big old mansion in the woods, Scooby-doo like gags where one character believes they are holding the hand of a friend only to find it’s a monster cliche. You also get the main antagonist in scenes where he explains the nature of his brilliant but evil scheme. So pretty lame and tame by all standards.
– Once again Mantan Morland is the only one who knows what’s really going on and is pretty much ignored throughout the film because he’s black.