Tuesday, October 1, 2013


This is as close as you will get in this movie
The great thing about the Countdown To Halloween is that I can do things related my love of monster movies.

Every monster kid probably saw a photo in a monster magazine or film history book, in the dark days before DVD, You Tube and mail order video, and said "That looks cool! I would love to see that!" many times they are a real disappointment. Here is one such film.

The Dead One (a.k.a. Blood of the Zombie)  is a film that bridges the gap between the old PRC and RKO voodoo zombies and the rotting walking corpses of Night of the Living Dead and the current popular crop of zombies. The Dead One is the work of Barry Mahon, a WWII fighter pilot turned nudie cutie and children's movie director/producer (Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny).

Why I wanted to see this, was a photo I saw of the long-haired zombie attacking a woman in a bedroom (photo above). The movie works in that late show/drive-in monster movie. It has slow plotting and bland, lackluster cinematography. Everything in this movie seems to have been filmed from about 50 feet back from the subject. The photo above must be a staged publicity photo.

The plot revolves around John (played by actor John McKay), who has just married Linda (played by actress Linda Ormond). They go on their honeymoon to New Orleans where they see a performance by some jazz groups, then on to see a belly dancer named Bella Bella. Now, I like jazz from the 50s and 60s, I also like belly dancing. However, do we need to see a whole set of jazz and a belly dancing routine. (Actually, we did need to see the whole belly dancing routine, ONLY THE CAMERA NEEDED TO BE CLOSER!!!)

After, that John and Linda start on their way to visit John's Cousin Monica (played by an actress named, you guest it, Monica Davis) at the old family plantation. They see a car broke down and stop to help. In a surprising coincidence it is Bella Bella (Played by Darlene Myrick. You seriously didn't think they could find an actress named Bella Bella...did you?). John decides to take Bella Bella to the plantation until her car is fixed. Okay, Linda should have worried about going to see a belly dancer on her honeymoon and then taking that belly dancer (In an extremely tight leopard print dress) to their destination, but unlike some of Mahon's adult films, none of this is discussed.

Cousin Monica is less than hospitable, because she thinks John and Linda are going to take the plantation away from her. She swings back and forth from snippy comments to ranting and raving like a talk radio show host. She says that she and "Jonas" were promised to be always be the caretakers of the plantation. John explains that Jonas was her late brother. He also points out to Linda and Bella Bella that Monica, Jonas and the servants practice voodoo.

Of course, the audience already knows that Jonas (played by an actor named Clyde Kelly, who probably wished his name was Jonas instead of Clyde) is a zombie, because of a sequence at the beginning of the movie where Monica performs a ritual that causes Jonas to rise from his tomb.

As I mentioned above, the movie moves slow and the camera is so far away from the action, that it is often hard to tell what is going on. However, Jonas (pictured above) is kind of a poor man's Frankenstein, rather than a flesh-eating ghoul. When we actually get a good look at Jonas, he is a rather cool looking zombie, with yellow skin, long, mangled hair and a gangly-frame.

The Dead One has it's flaws but it is fun to watch at least once, just to see if it is as cool as the picture in the book makes it look.  

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