Breaking Free – Revolt of the Zombies (1936)

Despite having a name as good as it does, Revolt of the Zombies is a pretty turgid affair, a movie that takes its time in trying to get where it is going and a film that features very few zombies. As a result, though it is also a horror film, there is not a lot of horror either, nothing that will instill a bit of fright into anybody. The end result is a bit of melodrama and a love triangle with a touch of mystery and a wee bit of suspense to tide the audience over, which in the end is not enough.

revolt-of-the-zombies-8Dorothy Stone, Dean Jagger and Robert Noland star and do all right with the material, but there is not a lot to work with other than its soapy elements. It all sort of plays out as one might expect between the woman and the two men who fancy her with a bit of jealousy and more than enough drama. The main problem with this feature is the fact that people tuned in for the simple fact of seeing some zombies, to get a little scare, a little fright and to get the blood pumping. This film does the exact opposite of that. It is slowly paced, which is not always a bad thing, but in this case it works against whatever it is that director Victor Halperin is revolt-of-the-zombies-9trying to accomplish, whether that be a horror film or something else. There are a couple of moments where the tension rises, but ultimately, it is not enough to save this movie from being one of the least effective zombie movies, or horror films in general.

The last few minutes of the picture are perhaps the most exciting of them all as all of the best laid plans fall apart. It by no means makes up for the previous fifty-plus minutes or so, but it at least ends stronger than it began. Revolt of the Zombies ends up not being a great example of the genre and is only a film for those completists who need to see every zombie movie ever made. Forgettable to say the least.

2 out of 5

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