Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Zombies of Mora Tau (1957)

With the following exceptions-"I Walked With a Zombie", "Carnival of Souls", "Plague of the Zombies" and "White Zombie"-there really weren't many good zombie movies before "Night of the Living Dead." Most of them dealt either with Voodoo and exploited white racial fears, or they dealt with fears of the atomic age. Also, they were (pardon the pun) lifeless, boring, talky and not worth watching. The same could be said for the Sam Katzman produced "Zombies of Mora Tau", only it's voodoo zombies don't offer any racism-though it does have a lot of bitchy white people.

A group sailors decide to get some diamonds from the ocean, and ignore the warnings about a sailor guard from 60 years earlier that died in a shipwreck. Of course, this turns out to be a mistake, as those dead sailors come back to retrieve their treasure, and in the process turn the bitchy Mona Harrison (Allison Hayes) into a zombie.

Apart from Hayes, whose a lot of fun as the all around sour bitch, the only thing that really stands out in "Zombies of Mora Tau" is the dead themselves. They're clearly being controlled by Voodoo, but they don't have a master. In fact, they are actually ancestors of the zombies from "Night of the Living Dead", as they have no emotions, and a single motive in mind that they wish to attain. Plus, a few of the scenes with them are actually kinda creepy.

Sadly, this is a movie that could have used a bit more of the dead, as the living are all unlikeable, and mostly just complain or yell at one another. Plus, they are incredibly stupid, as they have constant opportunities to set the dead on fire (it's the one thing that can kill them), and they never do it. Hell, I ended up sympathizing more with the zombies in this movie. All they want is their diamonds. If these dumb fucks hadn't stolen it, or would just give them back, none of this would have happened. As for the rest of the movie-well, most of what doesn't involve the nautical dead is boring.

In short: liked the zombies and one of the actors, but didn't care for much much else. I wanted to enjoy this, but apart from hardcore fans of cheap B-movies from the 50's and hardcore zombie lovers, there isn't any reason to see this.

Rating: 4/10

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