For a second-rate movie form the late ’50s, Zombies of Mora Tau isn’t half bad. I mean, it’s slow, somewhat dull and ultimately pointless, but aside from that, not too bad.
This pre-Romero zombie “horror” movie (not at all scary and can’t imagine it ever was) gives us some tireless, waterlogged undead guarding a cache of cursed diamonds. When a pack of treasure hunters come for the diamonds, they run afoul of the zombies and … not very much happens. And it’s too bad, because the idea has some promise.
I mean, you’ve got a deep sea diver, aquatic zombies, a creepy old woman who knows what’s going on (but no one will listen!), a curse, a fortune in diamonds … come on, is anyone else but me picturing a rip-roaring good time? Well, forget that. The action here is pretty mild. A few zombies get shot at or punched, to little effect. There’s a couple of ridiculous “underwater” scenes that involve walking very slowly. Two people die and get zombified, but it’s pretty uneventful in both cases.
The zombies themselves are just regular looking people that walk around slowly and stiffly. They are afraid of fire. They never do much beyond standing at the edge of the scene staring intently. Once or twice they carry off a woman when she faints, and one guys gets his neck snapped. And they sort of hang off the divers for a second or two in one scene. Eventually the diamonds are recovered, then dumped to free the zombies from their torment. And it only takes like seventy minutes to get there!
Honestly, it wasn’t a bad film, just kind of forgettable. But if there was ever a story begging for a remake, this is it! Update the zombies to rotting, bitey modern zombies, shoot it like an espionage/crime thriller, throw in some kick-ass underwater scenes (shark vs. zombie, anyone?) and bingo, you are well on your way to a minor classic. Who owns the rights? Call me, we’ll talk.
The short was Gay Zombie, a fine film about the difficulties of being gay, undead and in the closet. Can the right guy help Miles the gay zombie accept himself and not eat anyone? Find out for yourself below! Also, got to say I’m impressed overall with the quality of the shorts so far. Apart from the one terrible dud, the overall quality has been quite high. Nice job, shorts makers!