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Vintage Horror Classics: Zombies [2 Discs] [O-Card Packaging] [DVD]
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Overview

Synopsis

Revolt of the Zombies
Designed as a follow-up to the Halperin Brothers' phenomenally successful White Zombie, Revolt of the Zombies unfortunately isn't nearly as good. The story is set in Cambodia in the years following WWI. Evil Count Mazovia (Roy D'Arcy) has come into possession of the secret methods by which dead men can be transformed into walking zombies and uses these unholy powers to create a race of slave laborers. An expedition is sent to the ruins of Angkor Wat, in hopes of ending Mazovia's activities once and for all. Unfortunately, Armand (Dean Jagger), one of the members of the expedition, has his own agenda. Stealing a set of secret tablets, he sets about to create his own army of zombies, targeting those whom he considers to be enemies. But Armand is hoist on his own petard when the zombies rebel and turn against him. The anachronistic moviemaking techniques which contributed so much to the atmosphere and entertainment value of White Zombie are totally out of place in Revolt of the Zombies; also, Dean Jagger's performance lacks the conviction necessary for this sort of horror fare. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

White Zombie
In this haunting low-budgeter, Bela Lugosi stars as Murder Legendre, a shadowy character who exercises supernatural powers over the natives in his Haitian domain. Coveting Madge Bellamy as his bride, wealthy Robert Frazier enters into an unholy agreement with Lugosi, whereby Madge will die, then be resurrected as a zombie. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi

King of the Zombies
Set in the Caribbean shortly before the U.S. was drawn into WWII, this zombie chiller tells the tale of an American special agent who, along with his butler and a pilot, is sent out to find a missing American Admiral, whose plane crashed on one of the islands. Unfortunately, the hero's plane also crashes. Fortunately, a suave but sinister German doctor with a very strange wife is there to help them. The doctor explains that his spouse is in a strange trance and he is trying to find a cure. The butler soon discovers that she is not the only one; the island is teeming with zombies. When the butler tries to tell his employer, the employer refuses to believe in "voodoo hocus pocus." The butler and the pilot find themselves entranced. Fortunately, the agent is still around to solve the mystery of the zombies and to confront the culprit, an enemy spy. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Night of the Living Dead
When unexpected radiation raises the dead, a microcosm of Average America has to battle flesh-eating zombies in George A. Romero's landmark cheapie horror film. Siblings Johnny (Russ Streiner) and Barbara (Judith O'Dea) whine and pout their way through a graveside visit in a small Pennsylvania town, but it all takes a turn for the worse when a zombie kills Johnny. Barbara flees to an isolated farmhouse where a group of people are already holed up. Bickering and panic ensue as the group tries to figure out how best to escape, while hoards of undead converge on the house; news reports reveal that fire wards them off, while a local sheriff-led posse discovers that if you "kill the brain, you kill the ghoul." After a night of immolation and parricide, one survivor is left in the house.... Romero's grainy black-and-white cinematography and casting of locals emphasize the terror lurking in ordinary life; as in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963), Romero's victims are not attacked because they did anything wrong, and the randomness makes the attacks all the more horrifying. Nothing holds the key to salvation, either, whether it's family, love, or law. Topping off the existential dread is Romero's then-extreme use of gore, as zombies nibble on limbs and viscera. Initially distributed by a Manhattan theater chain owner, Night, made for about 100,000 dollars, was dismissed as exploitation, but after a 1969 re-release, it began to attract favorable attention for scarily tapping into Vietnam-era uncertainty and nihilistic anxiety. By 1979, it had grossed over 12 million, inspired a cycle of apocalyptic splatter films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and set the standard for finding horror in the mundane. However cheesy the film may look, few horror movies reach a conclusion as desolately unsettling. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Dead Men Walk
This painfully cheap but wildly entertaining PRC production stars a hammy George Zucco in a dual role as the Clayton Twins -- both doctors, one good, one evil. Elwyn Clayton, a practitioner of the black arts, is murdered by his brother Lloyd and returns from the dead as a vampire to seek revenge with the aid of his leering, hunchbacked assistant (Dwight Frye -- who else?). He exacts his vengeance by brutally murdering Elwyn's associates, with all evidence pointing to the only living twin. Jungle Siren director Sam Newfield makes the most of the paltry budget, helped greatly by Zucco's typically flamboyant performance -- which threatens to out-camp even that of legendary eye-roller Frye (who would die of a heart attack some months after this film's completion). ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Teenage Zombies
A deranged female scientist conducting weird experiments on a remote island kidnaps teens and injects them with a formula that transforms them into zombies. ~ Deb Rainsbottom, Rovi

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