King of the Zombies (1941) - Jean Yarbrough

King of the Zombies is a horror/comedy from 1941. Boy does it show its time. The entire movie is loaded with racial stereotypes that start to really distract you from enjoying this otherwise mediocre chuckle fest. However, they did get some good jabs and references to Nazi Germany.

Low on fuel and off course, a cargo plane crash-lands while following a strange radio signal. The only inhabitants of the island are a crazy racist German doctor and his "servants". As he calls them. Jeff, one of the crew, stumbles upon zombies in the basement. However, that is only the beginning of this story. This racist German doctor is practicing voodoo!

This movie is the first movie that I have reviewed from the forties. It is interesting that this movie was made while the world was in such a terrible place. I was constantly looking for the mentions of the world outside of the one that the actors had created for themselves. 

That is until the main villain turns out to be a German spy that is holding a United States Admiral hostage. He apparently is trying to extract military secrets from the captured Admiral through voodoo crazy magic! What? We didn't enter the war until December 1941 and this movie was made less than a year before that. However, it is pretty apparent to me that this movie was meant to start motivating the public into buying into the military. Don't mess with America and what-not. Not bad Hollywood. Clever.

Take it easy there woman, I ain't no herring! 
  • Bela Lugosi was tapped to be the villain for the movie. He turned it down. Then Peter Lorre was contacted. He turned it down as well. 
  • The score for this movie was nominated for an Academy Award. This is the only zombie movie to date that has been nominated. 
  • The boom mic is visible in numerous scenes.