Saturday, October 24, 2009
31 Days of Halloween - Day 24 - Movie 1
"The Zombies of Mara Tau" (1957) are the crew of a ship which sunk 60 years earlier with a treasure of stolen diamonds. Since then they've claimed the lives of every treasure seeker whose dared make an attempt at recovering the cursed diamonds. Now another group of treasure hunters has arrived and the zombies are ready for them as well.
This movie is well written, stylish, has a good cast of engaging characters and has plenty of genuine creepy moments involving the pre-George Romero slow moving zombies. The zombies don't eat anyone, but they do commit murder, and they can move underwater. There's something really odd about watching zombies dressed as sailors walking across the ocean floor to menace men in deep sea diving suits. The film also really conveys a sense that these walking dead are incredibly strong and indestructible. The heavy candlestick through at the face of a zombie that doesn't even flinch under its impact really drives this notion home. The zombies can be driven back by fire, but for some reason, no one thinks to actually try setting them on fire. There is a nice bit where one of the zombified treasure hunters is kept contained in a room full of candles.
The movie takes place in Africa but features an all white cast and not a single zombie is destroyed, but "The Zombies of Mora Tau" is a really enjoyable viewing experience. I'd never seen it before and it far exceeded my expectations.