Thursday, August 2, 2012

Movie Review: Revolt of the Zombies

Revolt of the Zombies (1936) directed by Victor Halperin.

Now that our Xbox gets internet connection (yeah new house!) I downloaded the YouTube app so we can watch videos on the big TV. I made a list of movies I wanted to watch and finally watched one the other night. It's called Revolt of the Zombies, and it is sort of a sequel to White Zombie. The director is the same for both movies and he reuses Bela Lugosi's eyes to show when the zombies are under control. The eyes float over the image of who is being controlled.

That's where the similarities end. This story begins in World War I. An Asian priest offers them a secret formula to turn men into zombies, who would be the perfect soldiers. After a demonstration, the Allies decide this is too horrible and imprison the priest for life to prevent him from using it. The French representative decides he wants the formula, so he sneaks into the prison, kills the priest, and takes the partially burned cloth showing where the formula can be found in Cambodia.

After the war ends, a group of Allies (including the French bad guy) heads to Cambodia to find and destroy the formula. One fellow brings his daughter who instantly sets up a love triangle. Most of the film is focused on this triangle. One of the guys discovers the formula before everyone else and uses it to get the girl.

I found the film a bit disappointing. The atmosphere was all over the place (sometime it was light drama, sometimes it was a romantic drama, sometimes it was eerie, but hardly enough for a movie about zombies) and the zombies are basically hypnotized living people and not very scary. The story meanders around and a lot of stuff seems just thrown in to make the movie longer (like the native Cambodian woman dancing for the group).

The video transfer is not too great and the audio was very muffled, which seems typical for less famous movies from that era.

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