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Anti-Nazi Zombies

by Dawn Fratini

John Carradine stars as Dr. Max Heinrich Von Altermann, a scientist working in the U.S., secretly experimenting with zombification in order to return to Germany and create an immortal army of zombies for the Nazis.

He even kills and resurrects his American, pin-up, wife (Gale Storm), but never underestimate an American gal. “What’s this?” He is perplexed, when he tries to show off her zombie obedience, and she rebels. “Your mind works independently of mine?” Boy, does it. She is the one who finally drags him to his death in the swamp pit.

Storm’s smirking and winking blonde zombie with a wholly-American mind of her own is certainly a statement on home front, female moxie in the Rosie-the-riveter vein.

Also projecting war time ideals are the African American zombie soldiers who march and “serve” along side the white zombies, and the African American servants played by Mantan Moreland, Sybil Lewis, and Madame Sul-Te-Wan. Moreland does his wide-eyed comic shtick, but is actually often a step ahead of the investigating white men.

James Baskett, who would later play Uncle Remus for Disney, is “Lazarus” who is both lead-zombie and man servant to Heir Doctor.

While the movie is not as entertaining as its premise suggests, being weighed down by dialogue with little action, it is very intriguing to see the woman and African Americans leading the way against the Nazi menace.

Revenge of the Zombies aka We May Be Undead But We're Still American

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John Carradine is making zombies for the Nazis. He's undone by his very American, undead wife - "What's this? Your brain works independently of mine?" - with help from his African American servants and a secret agent.

from Revenge of the Zombies (1943)
Creator: Steve Sekely
Distributor: Monogram Pictures
Posted by Dawn Fratini