Monday, April 27, 2009

Garbage Day: King of the Zombies (1941)

Official Selection: Most Racist Horror Film. Wow. Really didnt see it coming. The dialogue and acting that came out of this schlocky zombie flick feels like it was written by a Confederate in the 1800s. A navy recovery unit crashes on a mysterious island where a whacked out Nazi domesticates black zombie slaves to do his bidding. After doing some research, the film was supposed to have been a biting social commentary, portraying the white men as ignorant and allowing the black lead to take control and solve the mystery while injecting bits of urban influence into the dialogue and acting. Some 70yrs later, it hardly comes through, and appears to have quite the opposite effect, but had I known that was the initial concept going in, I may have interpreted the film differently. Regardless of intent though, as a horror film it is a slapsticky mess, so leave it to those writing theses on African-American influence in early Horror and pass.

Rating: 4/10.

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4 comments:

  1. hahaha - I had this one as part of some AMC Classics zombie triple feature pack - it was laaaaame... Mantan Moreland ftw, though. He IS a comedic genius in this movie.

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  2. it sounds terrible but damnit i'm keen

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  3. "Most racist horror film"

    You sold it to me, dude.

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  4. It will really make you take a step back, I had to jump online immediately to find out more about it because I couldnt believe something could be that full blown racist, but know that I know a little bit more about the film and know that the language and dialects used were not added in jest, but were added intentionally to promote the urban influence in cinema, I can see how it was intended as a progressive tool and actually a bold step for the movie industry. Without looking into the history of the film though, one cant help but feel uneasy at first.

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