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Thursday, June 24, 2010

King of the Zombies (1941)

King of the Zombies (1941)
My gracious me!  Zombies aren't the most horrifying thing in this movie, racial stereotypes are.  While this film is hailed by many, I found myself squirming in my seat for all the wrong reasons.  Here's my take on it:
1) These are voodoo zombies, not Romero's gut munching variety so be warned.  Yawn!
2) This film is more comedy than horror.  In fact, I'd classify it as a comedy with elements of mystery in it.
3)  Mantan Moreland as Jefferson Jackson [He also played Birmingham in the Charlie Chan movies] definitely steals the show.  The white actors who surround him pale in comparison.  I appreciate his comedic talent and timing.  However, the film is also a product of its time and has been interpreted by many modern viewers as demeaning and offensive.  To his credit, Moreland made a career out of acting during an era where it was difficult for black actors.  He definitely broke a few barriers and opened doors for other black actors to follow.  Therefore, I'm willing to cut him a little slack.
Racist elements aside, this is a decent movie as long as you're in the good for a comedy and not a horror movie.  You can view it legally online and it can be appreciated as a solid effort that was done on a very limited budget.
RATING: Good.
Download a copy of the film from Archive.org
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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