Thursday, April 10, 2008


Also known as THE DEAD ONE (a more accurate description of the movie itself, rather than any character), Barry Mahon's 1961 voodoo "thriller" BLOOD OF THE ZOMBIE owes more to Mahon's nudie films than any true zombie flick. Shot in the same pedestrian manner as his T&A-fests (Mahon's the only person I know who can make naked women boring), it's an infuriatingly tedious affair that neglects to provide even the basest of thrills.

With the same production vales typical of softcore pornography (static camerawork and abominable sound quality, particularly the scenes that sound like they've been recorded in a grain silo), BLOOD's threadbare story concerns a newlywed couple who've come to claim a Louisiana plantation, only to find that the groom's cousin (Monica Davis, in a performance so tightly-wound I expected her to drop from a stroke any second) is using a voodoo-powered zombie for sacrificial purposes. The titular dead one, named Brother Jonas and resembling a Leatherface prototype, is the quintessential slow zombie, dragging his way toward his victims with as much energy as a kid stuck doing chores; rest assured, Mahon captures every interminable footstep--marvel at the scene in which Jonas (played by Clyde Kelly, who I'm sure was grateful his mug was covered in cheap makeup) lumbers up the stairs one step at a time, trying not to trip in his clunky Frankenstein boots.

As devoid of humor as it is action (though I did get a laugh out of bridegroom John MacKay grudgingly inviting a belly dancer along on his honeymoon), BLOOD OF THE ZOMBIE is of interest only to the New Orleans tourism bureau, with copious scenes of jazz bands and exotic dancers gratuitously padding its opening half--though even these moments are as lifeless as the remainder of the picture.

Only insomniacs and fellow cinemasochists need apply.

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