A pair of doctors discover a strange disease and missing bodies in a small Cornish village. As they soon find out, the town is plagued by a legion of the undead that is being controlled by a mysterious figurehead. While it may not run at a quick pace, THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES builds sufficient suspense through Gilling's beautiful cinematic stylings and eerie make-up designs. It has as much in common with the classic "Whodunnit" as it does the zombie film, recalling WHITE ZOMBIE much more so than NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. The cramped shooting locations are expanded upon by the high production values and Gothic set dressings, turning the quaint village streets into a foreboding maze of fog and fear. At its heart, the zombie threat serves as a metaphor and ample punishment for British colonialism around the globe. Gilling would release both this and the similarly themed THE REPTILE within the same year, using many of the same actors and settings in both films. With strong performances all around (particularly in Andre Morell's commanding lead), PLAGUE proves to be an original and enjoyable zombie effort that served as Hammer's only foray into the undead and as a predecessor to George Romero's breakthrough film.
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