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This review appears direct to the web courtesy of THE CINEMA LASER.



THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES ($40) is the second Hammer release from Elite Entertainment. While not as well known as DRACULA- PRINCE OF DARKNESS, THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES is an entertaining and rewarding gothic horror film. Set in the English countryside, THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES tells the tale of a mysterious malady, which is causing a large portion of the population to die off. The perplexed local physician contacts his mentor about the problem, and the older doctor quickly appears on the scene to investigate. Since the villagers wouldn’t allow the local doctor to perform a postmortem to uncover the true cause of death, the elder doctor takes it upon himself to exhume the most recently buried victim. Unfortunately, both doctors are caught in the act by local constables. They do however, manage to open the coffin, only to find it empty. With this startling discovery, both doctors soon find themselves embroiled in a battle with the walking dead, instead of a mysterious disease. The cast of THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES features Andre Morell, Diane Clare, John Carson, Alex Davion, Jacqueline Pearce and Brook Williams.

William Lustig of Magnum Motion Pictures, along with Elite associate John Esposito personally supervised the Elite Entertainment Letterboxed transfer of THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES. The Letterboxed transfer restores the film to its theatrical aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1. It’s great to see that a small company like Elite Entertainment respects even a smaller Hammer film like THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES enough to present it in the Letterboxed format, while the major companies still show contempt for Hammer’s biggest classics. The compositions on the Letterboxed transfer appear nicely balanced, which focuses the viewer’s eye to the director’s intentions. The image is very detailed; the day for night photography appears to be presented correctly, and the colors are quite appealing throughout the transfer. The film element has a few blemishes, but none are too distracting.

The digital monaural soundtrack sounded quite good and is worth amplifying for James Bernard’s intriguing score. The Pioneer pressing had minor speckling. As supplement, Elite Entertainment has include a theatrical trailer for THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES as well as a combination trailer which features DRACULA- PRINCE OF DARKNESS. Once again, Elite Entertainment’s Vini Bancalari and Don May Jr. deserve the sincere thanks of horror fans for bringing their Hammer series to Laserdisc.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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