Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quick Reviews: Revolt of the Zombies (1936)

I suppose you're wondering why I'd do the older Film last, right?  Well, it was the one I watched later (and was that way on the DVD).  Oddly, the back of the Box labels them the other way around, so go figure.  On to the Film...
This is a more odd one and presents a brief glimpse into something that would be viewed as 'mind-blowing' about 70 years later.  The rest of it- kind of odd.
The film begins with a man giving a report about an incident involving some French Soldiers and Cambodian ones...who won't die!
It all relates to this Cambodian Priest, who claims that he could command them.  However...
Before they can get too much information, he's killed by this definitely-Asian villain who has his own plans to work on.
The main Story then begins with our three Leads looking into the matter in Cambodia- represented by pretty bad-looking Rear Projection Effects.  Naturally, it is two guys and a girl...and we get a love triangle.
One of them discovers the secret and now commands a similar force of well, Natives, now.  He is not exactly nice with this new power, killing off the conniving man from earlier after he's threatened by him.  Bye!
Weirdly, he'd rather have the one woman he pines for than this great power.  He gives it up for her, which I'm sure won't come with any drawbacks.
Oh right- they storm the place and kill him once they are free.

At least they are nice enough to not kill the good couple (and the old men there).  The (abrupt) End.
This is certainly an odd one.  On one hand, you have some neat ideas- like a Zombie Army controlled by magic.  On the other hand, you have a bunch of dated and tired tropes- like the Love Triangle, etc.  It is certainly a mixed bag.  One thing you have to accept is that this Film is *mostly* a product of its time.  You don't really get killing on-screen.  You don't really got Zombies doing much (although more than in King).  You don't really get big, interesting Characters to hold your attention all on their own.  That's not to say that good Films weren't made around this time- just that this isn't one of them.  All of the stuff that makes it an interesting 'time capsule' of a Film is the same stuff that will limit its audience.  The Story's core is quite interesting and I'm curious to see if anyone else has done something similar (and better) with it since.  I definitely like some of this Film and it is a little less 'dusty' than King of the Zombies (oddly enough!).  As a bonus, it saves its vaguely-Racist undertones for a different, if larger, demographic...
A more complex, but also simple story.  I know how little sense that makes, but deal with it.  It's alright.

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