Tall, Dark, and Dead – 5 – Revolt of the Zombies
Title: Revolt of the Zombies
Director: Victor Halperin
Leads: Jean Dagger, Dorothy Stone
Favorite quote: “I wish I could believe in them! I could use several regiments of them right now!”
Thoughts: This is what happens when you piss off nerds, people. Cambodian hypno-zombies!
Ugh. I find hypno-zombie films hard to watch. I’m just not into that particular branch of the zombie family tree. However, I have vowed to watch all zombie movies, not just the ones that I’m a fan of. So, here we go. Cambodian hypno-zombies.
Revolt of the Zombies is essentially a pretty, hour-long metaphor for colonialism. While the film features good acting and some subtlety, it’s not that special. Several recurring themes crop up, among them control of the living and the confusion of science and magic in the conceptualization/genesis of the zombies. While the zombies are the product of an ancient Cambodian ritual (smoke, this time…again, one might argue drugs rather than magic), they are explicitly described, at different times, as automatons and robots. Must be robots in the true Capek sense.
I find it interesting that Halperin’s living zombies, in both this film and White Zombie, are impervious to bullets. They don’t even bleed. I wonder if this didn’t, in some way, influence the now widely-accepted “head shot only” theory of zombie disposal.