When a young woman returns
to the coast of Africa to visit her grandmother she is drawn into a
nightmarish situation that she can’t believe. Years ago her
grandfather went down with his ship in a nearby cove and his wife (the
girl’s grandmother) built her house to be close to him. What
the girls doesn’t understand is that her grandfather and his crew
died after stealing a load of diamonds and that they are still wandering
around as zombies, cursed to protect the diamonds forever. At
the same time that the girl arrives an expedition from America also
arrives to recover the fortune in gems from the wreck of the ship.
Even after several deaths they don’t heed the warnings and manage
to bring the treasure to the surface with the undead crew hot in pursuit.
For some reason this movie
is almost always ignored when the discussion of zombie films come up.
Now this movie is more in the vein of the films of the 30s with a voodoo
curse being responsible for their condition. But unlike many of
the earlier zombie films this one is well paced, exciting and filled
with action. Hell they run one over in the first 5 minutes of
the movie! The film also manages to build up a creepy atmosphere
and the zombies are scary looking. The cast is quite good in their
roles, without a weak performance in the bunch. Now the ending
is a bit silly when they throw the diamonds in maybe three feet of water
so they can never be recovered! But even that is kind of fun in
a cheesy “B” movie way.
The zombies in this movie may
disappoint a modern audience. They are nothing more than guys
in sailor suits moving around stiffly with creepy looking eyes.
While I enjoy that look I can see why others would be annoyed.
I will say that the underwater shots were well executed on what had
to be a very tight budget. It is pretty clear that they didn’t
actually shoot underwater, but the scenes are effective nonetheless.
This is a fun movie that I
highly recommend everyone check out. It is available in the recently
released Sam Katzman collection along with 3 other films from the prolific
“B” movie producer. It is a great set that I highly recommend.
John "El Juan" Shatzer