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Dr Van Altermann (John Carradine, more famous for playing early Dracula) is up to some really weird stuff, namely bringing the dead back to life. His experiment is to create an army of invincible soldiers for the Third Reich. When Dr Van Altermann’s Wife dies,
his brother-in-law Scott Warrington (Mauritz Hugo) turns up with his hired detective Larry Adams (Robert Lowery) to investigate Lila Van Altermann’s untimely death. For some reason Lila (Veda Ann Borg) decides not to be a cooperative Zombie and the Dr’s plans start to go awry.
John Carradine acts with his eyes like in the old silent movies and this coupled with the superb comedy acting of Manton Moreland as the servant Jeff made the film fun and kept me watching. The character of Jeff was so politically incorrect that they wouldn’t get away with it now, but it’s funny regardless.
The over dramatic music score was insane and the Zombie Lazarus played by James Baskett looks like a young Don King! When he came out with the line ‘I used to drive a car for masta….when I’s alive’ it was just plain funny. For me though, it was Manton Moreland who carried this film, his wide -eyed comedy genius and some cracking lines had me giggling throughout. I would never wish to see this film again; I wouldn’t recommend it to any horror fan - but if you like comedy and are curious to see what the definition of horror used to be way back when. Then I guess there’s worse ways of spending an hour.
REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES (1943). Director: Steve Sekley. Writers: Edmund Kelso, Van Norcross. Cast: John Carradine, Robert Lowery, Veda Ann Borg, James Baskett, Mauritz Hugo, Manton Moreland, Bob Steele, Jennifer Rand, Madame Sul-Te-Wan, Sybil Lewis
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