Valley of the Zombies (1944)

Valley of the Zombies (1944) movie poster

director Philip Ford
viewed: 05/02/2016

To call Valley of the Zombies a horror film is a bit of a stretch. Heck, just because it has “Zombie” in the title and ostensibly features a voodoo style zombie character, I guess. Some have even noted that the “Valley” of the title isn’t even a valley but a metaphor.  It’s more a comedy and pop adventure than a thriller or a horror film.

Valley of the Zombies comes from Republic Studios, a big independent Hollywood studio of Poverty Row, a studio that didn’t do much in the way of horror, more in the way of Westerns.

The film features Robert Livingston and Lorna Gray as a low-rent doctor and nurse Nick and Nora, on the hunt for a crazy killer who embalms all his victims and turns out (pretty early on) to be a once-dead dude who needs fresh blood to stay alive, via some hoodoo.  More importantly it features Ian Keith as a Poverty Row Boris Karloff-ish villain.  It’s straight-up Scooby-Doo style low-brow low-jinks.

It does feature an amusing line or two: “Let’s go over to Dr. Maynard’s office and see if we can pick up a clue that will lead us to this peculiar party that has a passion for pickling.”

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