Plague of the Zombies (1966)
Contains the cult classics THE MUMMY'S SHROUD and PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIESTHE MUMMY'S SHROUD: A small archeological party headed by Sir Basil Walden (Andre Morell) discover the hidden tomb of Kah-to-Bey. Despite a warning from the wild-eyed guardian, Hasmid Ali (Roger Delgado), they take Kah-to-Bey to Cairo and place him next to the mummy of Prem, his devoted slave and protector. The mystical hieroglyphic shroud that covers Kah-to-Bey's body is read aloud by Ali and restores Prem to life resulting in an unstoppable progression of madness, mystery and murder. The Mummy's Shroud was the last Hammer film to be shot at Bray Studios which marked the end of a sixteen-year association. PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES: A strange disease reaching epidemic proportions is invading the English countryside where Peter Thompson (Brooks Williams) practices. In desperation, Thompson seeks the help of his mentor, Sir James Forbes (Andre Morell), who comes to his assistance in trying to make sense of the horrible plague. Amidst walking corpses, voodoo dolls and empty graves, the two embark on an investigation that uncovers a ghastly secret and leads them to the shocking truth.
Anticipating Night of the Living Dead by a couple of years, the John Gilling-directed Plague of the Zombies gives the gothic treatment to the stumbling undead. André Morell plays an unassuming medical professor called by a former student, village doctor Peter Tompson (Brook Williams), to investigate a mysterious plague in a small Cornish village. They uncover an unholy plot by the devilishly decadent local Squire (John Carson), who has been using black magic to create an army of laborers to work his failing tin mine and has now infected William's sickly young wife. Gilling sets a spooky atmosphere, a fog-drenched village where the inhabitants live as if under a cloud of doom, dominated by the arrogant squire, who bullies his way about with his gang of cruel, aristocratic thugs. The film's highlight is the eerie introduction of the zombies, clawing their way up through the earth and emerging as lumbering, death-masked ghouls. The film has been remastered from the original 35mm negatives in the Hammer vaults, and letterboxed to its original aspect ratio. --Sean Axmaker