By Eddie Davis
Hammer horror is a genre that is well received through the popularity of fans that love the fact that retro movies are entertaining; the artistic tastes and visual look which is instantly recognisable for its time is a powerhouse to many film -makers.
Hammer Films as a production company is an outlet that inspires films to become its own thing through visual mediums. It’s a work of art, Gothic-style sets and rubber-faced monsters leave a profound impact on the way we see horror and entertainment as a whole.
It’s the look and style that makes it all the more interesting. Yes it can look cliched but there is something that makes it special. Hammer horror is something of interest. You can watch those movies with different perceptions on the way they are made. It could be scary, it could be eerie and most definitely cheesy.
So I decided to buy a film from the local JB-HI-FI and digest The Plague of the Zombies.
In a small village in Cornwall a disease plagues the villagers. Sir James Forbes and his daughter are invited by a friend to investigate these mysterious occurrences. Bodies go missing, people die and we question our beliefs on Voodoo.
This film is a classic, released in 1966. The box office earned $2.345 million, meaning it was a success through rentals. This would include the modern era of media. DVDS, Blu ray etc.
So It just shows that this film and many others continue to strive on through this day of age.
You have a story which is well paved out. The build-up is what makes the film great, the anticipation and the mystery that is being uncovered at every second. It’s something I would recommend to horror nerds who are looking for a movie to watch with friends on a Friday night.
The cast are memorable in this movie, you can identify who they are and their motives throughout the two hours. Jacqueline Pearce of Blakes 7 fame does an amazing job as Alice, she brings worry and curiosity as we watch her in numerous scenes. Pearce brings an array of parts to her role. Yes, we know she is trustworthy with others, but she has the emotions that something is not right. There is a twinkle in the actress’s eyes, a hint of innocence, yet danger approaching.
My favourite part, which is what makes the whole movie the best, is the make-up design for the zombies. It’s an eerie design that makes your skin crawl every time you see them in a scene. It’s something to note that with each scene they are in, you have this assumption that the zombies are forced to do their “master’s” bidding.
Problem with the film that I found, which is common practice in classic films, is the pacing. It tends to become repetitive, but as the film goes on, you start to catch on with the story. You grow and appreciate the story as it garners more context.
The Plague of the Zombies is worth watching. It’s not particularly scary, but you tend to feel an itch on the back neck from time to time. Tense, yet sleepy. The use of colour and tones is both used well to identify the overall sense of dread when entering a scene.
Feature image: The zombies are coming to get you. Artwork: Eddie Davis