Directed by John Gilling
Starring André Morell, John Carson, Jacqueline Pearce, Brook Williams, Michael Ripper
The Hammer horror films and coming fast and furious to Blu-Ray these days — and it’s terrific. The latest news is that Scream Factory is bringing us The Plague Of The Zombies (1966).
It’s been great re-visiting these films in high definition. I’ve been really floored by the cinematography in these things, especially the use of color. Before Hammer came along, horror films were almost always black and white. That was probably a financial decision more than an artistic one — but as has been proven a thousand times, black and white is perfect for horror movies.
Hammer used color as a marketing tool — and the promise of red blood served them well. The Plague Of The Zombies (1966) doesn’t offer up the blood that the Dracula movies do, but it has some really cool, innovative lighting things — particularly in the graveyard and mine scenes — that really set it apart. They liberal use of the fog machine is quite effective, too.
John Gilling’s direction and the cast are excellent. I have a soft spot for Brook Williams (he’s the first of many people who wind up dead in my favorite movie, Where Eagles Dare). Everything comes together to make The Plague Of The Zombies a really creepy movie (as the stills above make pretty obvious).
Back in 1966, Hammer sent this out with Dracula – Prince Of Darkness, which is also on its way from Scream Factory.
FYI: These are the voodoo-type zombies, not the Romero-type zombies.