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The Plague of the Zombies

Released Jan 12, 1966 1h 30m Horror Sci-Fi List
83% Tomatometer 12 Reviews 54% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings
A medical professor (Andre Morell) and his daughter (Diane Clare) link a Cornish epidemic to a village squire's (John Carson) voodoo. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (12) Critics Reviews
David Jenkins Little White Lies A colourful romp with a smattering of subtext. Rated: 3/5 Jun 7, 2012 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy It's not only one of the best zombie movies ever made, it's also one of the finest pictures ever released by Hammer Films. Rated: 3.5/4 Jan 21, 2019 Full Review Tim Brayton Alternate Ending Certainly isn't the "best" horror film made by Hammer Film Productions... What it is, maybe, is the "Hammer-est" Hammer film. Rated: 4/5 Nov 19, 2018 Full Review MFB Critics Monthly Film Bulletin The best Hammer Horror for quite some time, with remarkably few of the lapses into crudity which are usually part and parcel of this company's work. Feb 8, 2018 Full Review Shaun Munro What Culture As a precursor to better zombie films, it remains an important, passably entertaining genre milestone. Rated: 3/5 Jun 12, 2012 Full Review Jennie Kermode Eye for Film Rated: 3/5 May 27, 2011 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (126) audience reviews
dave s When a small English village experiences a series of unexplained deaths, outside help is requested by the local doctor to help investigate the matter. To the rescue comes Sir James (Andre Morell) and his daughter Sylvia (Diane Clare), who soon discover that voodoo is being used to bring the dead to life. Things are fine up until this point, but when it is revealed that the undead are being used for cheap labor in a tin mine, the horror seems to lose its impact. Lesson learned? While zombies tend to not be overly productive, they sure save money in labor costs. Like most Hammer films, the atmosphere throughout is creepy, the performances are solid, and the sets are excellent. However, while The Plague of the Zombies is a decent enough effort, it fails to stand out as anything special. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Taylor L Though it doesn't feature the recognizable presences of either Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee, The Plague of the Zombies is definitely one of the better Hammer Studios horror movies, particularly among their later projects. There's all the same stuffy English aristocratic airs that populate the earlier Hammer films, where they were used both to establish a sense of gentility and as a means of contrasting with the brutality of (insert monster here). However, in this film that same attitude of the country gentleman is more of a weapon, wielded by an insular community against outsiders, like a somewhat more timid version of The Wicker Man. Unlike other Hammer films, the use of the monsters is quite hesitant, focusing more on the terror and distrust that the 'plague' causes rather than the zombies. A more restrained portrayal of a monster before it became a genre unto itself, John Gilling delivers more traditional origins to his creatures, which wind up being a bit more archaic and fantastical than the gritty undead flicks of later decades; the group of nondescript tribesman endlessly beating drums in a manor's basement/mineshaft is more funny than creepy. But there's plenty to like here, particularly the focus on atmosphere and early takes on classic tropes, like hands clawing out of the dirt or over tombstones. It does kind of get neutered a bit when you realize the zombies mostly just shamble around a bit and 'hurt' people by sort of grabbing them as they slowly collapse. (3/5) Rated 3 out of 5 stars 09/16/22 Full Review justin t This is a slow moving olden-days zombie movie. I wasn't that impressed because this was made before the stunning atmosphere of Rosemary's Baby (1968) and didn't take inspiration from the insane violence of Blood Feast (1963). The acting and direction is fine and I would say that it is impressive for the time but can't compare to modern horror. There are some cool scenes and sets but nothing memorable. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Shot back-to-back with The Reptile using the same sets, The Plague of the Zombies is all about a Cornish village that finds many of its inhabitants mysteriously dying and then rising from their graves and are working in a tin mine. This isn't a fallen satellite or hell bring full. This is voodoo in 1860s England at work! The funny thing is that this movie was made only two years before Night of the Living Dead and it may as well have been made two decades hence. That's no jab at this film, which I love, but it seems from a totally different era. That said, this movie has atmosphere galore, with foggy denseness and dread in every frame, the kind of movie I bet Electric Wizard watched when they were little kids and could only dream of the feedback and heaviness that was in their future. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review dave j Medical professor, Sir James Forbes (André Morell) decide to visit one his pupils,Dr. Peter Tompson Brook Williams) who has become a doctorate at a mining village, along with his grown up daughter, Sylvia (Diane Clare) which is supposed to be plagued with unexplained zombies from the occult lead by the village quire Clive Hamilton (John Carson) . Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member This has one of the most crazy plots of any Hammer film I've ever seen. I won't give away everything that happens though.  A Cornish village is suffering from some sort of plague that is bumping people off at such a rate that the local doctor asks an expert friend to investigate what is happening. When opening up the graves of the recently deceased they discover that all of the coffins are empty. Could the answer to this mystery be connected with the tin mine which is on the land of Squire Clive Hamilton? Is it also relevant that he used to live in Haiti and the fact that he practiced voodoo and the black arts whilst he was there? I remember seeing this in the 80s as my local television station used to show a double-bill of Hammer films every Thursday night (a blessing!) It was scary then and it's retained it's ability to shock. The zombies themselves are the stuff of nightmares. But unfortunately the film drags every now and again. But on the whole it's worth seeing, even if it's not the best of the studio's output. Fun fact- Martin Scorsese thinks highly of this film. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/19/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Plague of the Zombies

My Rating


Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis A medical professor (Andre Morell) and his daughter (Diane Clare) link a Cornish epidemic to a village squire's (John Carson) voodoo.
John Gilling
Anthony Nelson Keys
Peter Bryan
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Production Co
Hammer Film Productions Limited, Seven Arts Productions
Horror, Sci-Fi
Original Language
British English
Release Date (Theaters)
Jan 12, 1966, Wide
1h 30m