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The Undead

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The Undead (1957) starring Pamela Duncan, Richard Garland, directed by Roger Corman
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The Undead (1957) starring Pamela Duncan, Richard Garland, directed by Roger Corman

In The Undead, a woman is sent back in time via hypnosis. In the dark ages, she’s about to be executed … For witchcraft!


  • Pamela Duncan (Attack of the Crab Monsters) … Diana Love / Helene. In the present day, a prostitute. Quintus hires her – $500 for 48 hours. Via hypnosis, she’s sent into a past life as Helene — wrongly convicted for witchcraft. And, she’s sentenced to be beheaded. If she avoids it, she’ll change the future … And her future selves, including Diana, will likely never be born.
  • Richard Garland (Attack of the Crab Monsters) … Pendragon. Helene’s love, and our protagonist. He’s trying to save the life of his lady fair. Unfortunately for him, Livia has other plans …
  • Allison Hayes (Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, The Unearthly) … Livia – a Witch. A beautiful, but vicious woman. She’s guilty of the crimes that Helene’s been convicted of. And, she’s trying to convince Pendragon to sell his soul to the Devil. In exchange for Helene’s life.
  • Val Dufour (Search for Tomorrow) … Quintus Ratcliff. The psychic researcher, who sends Diana’s mind to a past life. And, in one of the weirder moments of the movie, follows her back!
  • Mel Welles (Attack of the Crab Monsters) … Smolkin – the gravedigger. A good bit of comedy relief, as the slightly-mad monk, who helps out Diana.
  • Dorothy Neumann (The Terror, The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow) … Meg Maud – a Witch. A “good” witch, if there is such a thing. After initial conflict, she befriends Helene, and tries to help her against Livia.
  • Billy Barty (The Clown) … The Imp. Livia’s right-hand … imp. Billy Barty clearly had a lot of fun in this role!
  • Bruno VeSota (Attack of the Giant Leeches) … Scroop – the innkeeper. Not the most honest of innkeepers, however.
  • Richard Devon (Blood of Dracula) … Satan. Played without makeup, but with gusto. Another actor who’s clearly enjoying himself in his role.

Secondary characters

  • Maurice MansonProfessor Ulbrecht Olinger. Quintus’ former professor. He’s effectively there to be a witness to Quintus’ “triumph”. Not given a lot to do other than react unbelievingly.
  • Aaron SaxonGobbo – the Jailer. Poor Gobbo gets a headache for his trouble.
  • Don GarrettThe Knight
  • Dick Miller (The Terror, The Mask of the Phantasm)… The Leper

Editorial review of The Undead courtesy of

Two psychical researchers procure the services of a lady of the night and send her back in time under hypnosis. She finds herself in the body of a past existence – a woman in medieval times waiting to be beheaded as a witch. By avoiding this fate she unwittingly starts to alter history. …The Undead (1957)

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