Directed by Jean Yarbrough, written by Edmond Kelso, and starring Dick Purcell, Joan Woodbury, Henry Victor, John Archer, Patricia Stacey, Marguerite Whitten, and Guy Usher.
"During World War 2, a small plane off the south coast of America is low on fuel and blown off course by a storm. Guided by a faint radio signal, they crashland on an island. The passenger, his manservant and the pilot take refuge in a mansion owned by a doctor. The easily-spooked manservant soon becomes convinced the mansion is haunted by zombies and ghosts. Exploring, the 3 find a voodoo ritual in the cellar, where the doctor is trying to acquire war intelligence by transferring personalities into his zombies. But the interruption causes the zombies to turn on their creator."
I truly adore classic cinema like King of the Zombies. I simply can't get enough, especially between the 1930's and 1950's. Add into the mix a handful of voodoo zombies, and I have very few complaints. As a matter of fact, I'm one of the few people that still seem to be intrigued by voodoo zombies, which are few and far in between, just as much as the living dead or the infected. Enough about all of that though. King of the Zombies, unlike White Zombie nine years prior, is the first official zombie horror/comedy, and even after all of these years it's still one of the best. I'd just like to note that the movie The Ghost Breakers, which released one year prior, was a comedy, but only featured one 'zombie', and didn't really have much to do with the main plot. In what would be an otherwise standard and mediocre horror movie, the hilarious performance of Mantan Moreland as Jeff, the wisecracking, suspicious servant accompanying the two men to the Bahamas, was masterful to say the least. It's funny that even back in the forties black people were the voice of reason in horror movies. White people never listen, and that's why they always die.
"Produced and released prior to Pearl Harbor, the film oddly dances around blatant references to Nazi Germany. While the villain is decidedly Germanic, radio traffic is spoken in German and there's spoken references to spying, neither Germany or Nazis are ever overtly mentioned. The plot, described in the presskit describes the evil Dr. Sangre as 'a secret agent for a European government.' The powers at Monogram were probably acutely mindful of the problems independent producer Ben Judell encountered when trying to exhibit Hitler - Beast of Berlin (1939) two years earlier. That film was unable to pass local pro-Germany censorship boards and Judell went broke."
Best quote: "If there's one thing that I wouldn't wanna be twice, zombies is both of 'em."