Thursday, October 20, 2011
31 Days of Halloween - Day 20 - Movie 2
Zombies of Broadway (1945) sends two bumbling press agents to a Caribbean island in order to secure a genuine zombie to bring back for an ex-gangster's night club so that he can save face against a popular radio personality looking to humiliate him. On the island they encounter Bela Lugosi trying to scientifically create zombies like the ones the natives create through ritual.
This movie is allegedly a comedy. The script is not funny, nor are the two leads (Wally Brown and Alan Carny) who make for incredibly poor Laurel and Hardy substitutes. Lugosi is professional and rises above the material here even when facing off against a monkey in a dresser. Darby Jones essentailly recreates his zombie role from the far superior I Walked With a Zombie (1943) but the lighting here detracts from his eerie appearance which was incredibly effective in the earlier movie.
The weird thing about this movie is you'd expect it to be excruciating to sit through, but it isn't. In spite of the failed humor, I actually found this movie to be pretty entertaining. I can't put my finger on why, but I was. It was certainly better than several other Lugosi movies I've watched, and much more watchable than several movies I've watched during this countdown.