John Gilling / UK / 1966 / 86 mins
One of the lesser known Hammer horror films, The Plague of the Zombies returns to the big screen as part of FrightFest Extra at the Glasgow Film Festival. Newly restored, this classic horror keeps close to the roots of the zombie legend, and features a horde of the undead resurrected in a small Cornish town in the 1900s, but these zombies are under the control of the evil local Squire Clive Hamilton (John Carson).
Filmed four years before George A. Romero’s cult classic, Night of the Living Dead, Zombies sticks to its Haitian roots, as these zombies are not portrayed as mindless and permanently hungry ghouls intent on eating the flesh of the living, but rather as undead slaves to a cold, callous and uncaring zombie master. The film is less concerned with people attempting to flee from the zombie horde, and more concerned with the characters trying to discover what has been going on in an otherwise unremarkable village. While it’s probably not the most frightening or influential of the Hammer horror back catalogue, this film is a more traditional and nostalgic take on the well-worn zombie genre.
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