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Other Versions of this Movie

King of the Zombies

1941

A plane flying to the Bahamas gets blown off course and crashes on the island of the mysterious Dr. Sangare. Jefferson Jackson (Mantan Moreland) tries to warn his fellow survivors that the island's haunted but they all soon learn there's more going on than they initially supposed... Find out more about this movie on its IMDB page.


King of the Zombies (1941) horror comedy film produced by Monogram Pictures.

Plot

During World War II, a Capelis XC-12 plane somewhere over the Caribbean runs low on fuel and is blown off course by a storm. Guided by a faint radio signal, they crash-land on an island. The passenger, his manservant and the pilot take uge in a mansion owned by a doctor. The quick-witted yet easily frightened manservant (Mantan Moreland) soon becomes convinced the mansion is haunted by zombies, and confirms this with some of the doctor's hired help. Exploring, the three stumble upon a Haitian Vodou#Myths and misconceptions ritual being conducted in the cellar, where the doctor, who is in reality a foreign spy, is trying to acquire war intelligence from a captured US Admiral whose plane had crashed in a similar fashion on the island. But the interruption causes the zombies to turn on their master.

Cast

Image:MantanMorelandKoZ1941 USPD.JPG
  • Dick Purcell as James "Mac" McCarthy
  • Joan Woodbury as Barbara Winslow
  • Mantan Moreland as Jefferson "Jeff" Jackson
  • Henry Victor as Dr. Miklos Sangre
  • John Archer (actor) as Bill Summers
  • Patricia Stacey as Alyce Sangre
  • Guy Usher as Admiral Arthur Wainwright
  • Marguerite Whitten as Samantha, the Maid
  • Leigh Whipper as Momba, the Butler
  • Madame Sul-Te-Wan as Tahama, the Cook and High Priestess
  • James Davis as Lazarus, a Zombie
  • Laurence Criner as Dr. Couillie

Background

The role of Dr. Miklos Sangre was intended for Béla Lugosi. When he became unavailable, negotiations ensued to obtain Peter Lorre for the part, but a deal could not be reached. Veteran character actor Henry Victor was signed just prior to the date of filming.
In the press kit for this film, Monogram advised exhibitors to sell "it along the same lines as Paramount Pictures's The Ghost Breakers (1940)." The Bob Hope horror/comedy was a runaway hit at the time.
Produced and released prior to U.S. entry into World War II, the film seems to portray Nazi Germany as the enemy behind the scenes. The villain claims to be from Austria, radio traffic is spoken in German and there are spoken erences to spying, although neither Germany or Nazis are overtly mentioned. The plot, described in the press kit, describes the evil Dr. Sangre as "a secret agent for a European government."

Awards

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music (Music Score of a Dramatic Picture) (Edward Kay).

Sequel

Two years later, in 1943, the film was followed by a sequel, of sorts, called Revenge of the Zombies which included two of the original cast members. Mantan Moreland reprised his role as Jeff. Madame Sul-Te-Wan was cast as Mammy Beulah, the housekeeper.

Quotes

Drums! Uh oh! That's my cue to be parading on out of here! —Jeff


Category:1941 films
Category:1940s horror films
Category:Zombie films
Category:Films directed by Jean Yarbrough
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:American films
Category:English-language films
Category:American comedy horror films
Category:Monogram Pictures films
3.71
Lindsley Parsons

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