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King Of The Zombies

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King Of The Zombies (1941) starring John Archer, Dick Purcell, Mantan Moreland
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King Of The Zombies (1941) starring John Archer, Dick Purcell, Mantan Moreland

King of the Zombies – three Americans crash their airplane on a strange island. There, a mysterious doctor is clearly up to something. Zombies? Nazis?


In short, King of the Zombies is an enjoyable zombie horror film. It’s set during the middle of World War II, where three men crash their plane on a strange island. The mysterious doctor welcomes them to stay with them temporarily, until a supply boat comes. He’s clearly up to something, and his native servants look and act like zombies.

It’s enjoyable, but what makes it truly memorable is the the comedy of Mantan Moreland. As the comedy relief, he steals the show! His interactions with the lovely young kitchen maid are delightful. Some of the comedy routines, such as candles going out as the clock strikes midnight, reminds me of Lou Costello. And later, when he thinks he’s been turned into a zombie, it’s both hilarious and plot relevant.

Product Description 

John Archer, Dick Purcell and valet Mantan Moreland are forced to down their small aircraft on a remote Caribbean island. Mad scientist (Henry Victor) is using voodoo & hypnotism to turn the local populace into an army of zombies. His fiendish plan is to use them in gathering secret defense information for the Axis. Mantan Moreland steals the show with a memorable comic performance that elevates the King Of The Zombies to a cult classic.

Cast of characters

Cast of characters in "King of the Zombies"
  • Dick Purcell (Captain America serial) … James McCarthy. The pilot, who crashes their plane on the island. He nearly becomes a zombie!
  • Joan Woodbury (The Rogues Tavern, Brenda Starr – Reporter) … Barbara Winslow. The mad scientists’ lovely niece by marriage. Waiting to be rescued …. But can she be trusted?
  • Mantan Moreland (Next Time I Marry) … Jefferson ‘Jeff’ Jackson. Bill Summers’ valet. Comedy relief, who steals the show!
  • Henry Victor (Sherlock Holmes and The Secret Weapon) … Dr. Miklos Sangre. The mysterious doctor from Vienna.
  • John Archer (How to Frame a Figg, Destination Moon) … Bill Summers. The passenger on the airplane, with urgent government business in the Bahamas.
  • Patricia Stacey … Alyce Sangre. The doctor’s wife, who appears to be in a zombie-like state.
  • Guy Usher (The Devil Bat, It’s a Gift) … Admiral Wainwright. His plane also disappeared in the same area.
  • Marguerite Whitten (Professor Creeps) … Samantha. The pretty maid of Dr. Sangre. Whom Jeff immediately has eyes for!
  • Leigh Whipper (The Vanishing Virginian) … Momba. Dr. Sangre’s faithful, zombie-like butler.
  • Madame Sul-Te-Wan (Thank Your Lucky Stars) … Tahama. The cook. And likely something more …
  • James Davis (Drums o’ Voodoo) … Lazarus
  • Laurence Criner (The Flying Ace) … Dr. Couillie

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