The pre-Romero history of zombie film is a litter of dull, sleepy films studded with the occasional gem. Revolt of the Zombies is not one of the gems. Revolt is the second zombie film from White Zombie director Victor Halperin but it lacks even that film’s somewhat dated charms and plays like a third rate ripoff of it. Clearly Halperin was out of ideas and hoping to capitalize on his previous success (he even “borrowed” the effect of superimposing Bela Lugosi’s eyes over certain scenes, despite the fact Lugosi is not in this movie).
Supposedly, Revolt is the tale of an expedition to discover the source of a zombie-creating agent to make an army of zombie super soldiers. There is one cool early scene of a horde of Cambodian zombie soldiers getting shot at and not dying or even reacting. Neat! In reality, the rest is a turgid, melodramatic love story about a guy, the girl he loves, and his best friend. Who she loves, naturally. Blech. Anyway, the guy who loves the girl learns the zombie secret and uses it to … try to get the girl. Really?
He controls everyone around him but the girl, creating a massive zombie army. And uh, does nothing with it. Then he realizes she will never love him, he releases his zombies (they aren’t dead, just hypnotized into a mindless, obedient state) and they turn on him. The end. Lame. Next time, more zombie army, less retarded love story, please.
Revolt of the Zombies/US/1936