Not the Best Dancers – Zombies on Broadway (1945)

Zombies on Broadway is not quite as ridiculous as it sounds. It does not happen to be a musical, nor is there any dancing or a chorus line to be found, despite what the title seems to promise. Yes, there are zombies in the movie and yes, there is a Broadway show in a new club that has just opened up, but they only come together during the final act of the picture and not quite in the way expected. Before that takes place, a zombie is first needed and it is up to Alan Carney and Wally Brown to get one as they are sent on a mission by their boss, former
gangster, Ace Miller. If they cannot procure a zombie, after causing a bit of trouble for Miller, for the Zombie Hut’s new show, they might find themselves in need of resurrection.

While the film may not be at the top of the heap when one thinks of horror, comedy or horror-comedies, it is still fairly entertaining with Carney and Brown doing their best poor man’s Abbot and Costello routines. Though the comedy is slightly dated in places during the movie, it is not so much that it stops it from being funny. Most of the hijinks that take place do not happen until the duo hit the island and start running into the zombies, the slapstick coming through in full force at that point. The horror is non-existent, the zombies looking goofy and quite unbelievable – their bodies being exceptionally well preserved and the only visible difference from any normal man being their eyes and the way they shuffle around. That being said, they were laughable in a good way, being the perfect props for the boys to play off of.

Additionally starring would be Bela Lugosi, a man who was no stranger to being the bad guy and here he would do so again, in a role that almost seemed like a waste of his talents. Lugosi would play the stock villain, a mad scientist looking to duplicate the voodoo ritual that turns men into zombies, except through science and for the most part, the man is successful. Of course, in comes Brown and Carney to mess things up for the man like they did their boss, though in the end, they do make off with the zombie they need, just not the one that they were hoping to. Providing a little more comedy relief, and perhaps even more so than the comedy duo, would be the monkey who follows the boys home. Adding to all of this would be actress Anne Jeffreys adds a little eye-candy to the picture as well as playing the traditional damsel in distress, not to mention being the voice of reason behind Carney and Brown.

The end sequence was fun and provided a few laughs and no matter how silly the movie tended to be, it was never to the point of being terrible. There were flaws of course, but they could all be overlooked by the simple fact that at the end of the day, Zombies on Broadway wholly entertained, as cheesy and as absurd as it was.

3 out of 5

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