The Undead (film)
film poster by Albert Kallis
|Directed by||Roger Corman|
|Produced by||Roger Corman|
|Written by||Charles B. Griffith
|Music by||Ronald Stein|
|Edited by||Frank Sullivan|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|Running time||75 min.|
The Undead is a 1957 horror film directed by Roger Corman starring Pamela Duncan, Richard Garland, Allison Hayes, and Val Dufour. It follows the story of prostitute Diana Love (Duncan) who is put into a hypnotic trance by psychic Quintis (Dufour), thus causing her to regress back to a previous life. Star Allison Hayes also starred in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958).
A psychic named Quintus Ratcliff (Val Dufour) sends a woman (Pamela Duncan) back in time to find out about her past-life experiences. She goes back as Helene, a woman from the Middle Ages who is to die at dawn under suspicion of being a witch. In an attempt to save Diana and keep all of time from being distorted, Quintis goes back in time to convince Helene to let herself be killed. If she avoids her death, it will change history.
- Pamela Duncan as Diana Love/Helene
- Richard Garland as Pendragon
- Allison Hayes as Livia
- Val Dufour as Quintus Ratcliff
- Mel Welles as Smolkin
- Dorothy Neumann as Meg-Maud
- Billy Barty as The Imp
- Bruno Ve Sota as Scroop
- Aaron Saxon as Gobbo
- Richard Devon as Satan
The Undead was inspired by an interest in reincarnation during the 1950s (as was the film The She-Creature). Notably the book The Search for Bridey Murphy by Morey Bernstein was made into a film in 1956. However by the time The Undead was being made, the popularity of reincarnation was starting to dwindle. Therefore Corman decided that they needed to change it up a little and added the time travel elements of Quintis, and a title change.
The movie was filmed in a converted supermarket, and was completed in only six days. Its original title was The Trance of Diana Love. The bats that the imp and witch continually change into were left over from another Corman movie, It Conquered the World.
The Undead was later featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 during its eighth season where they comment on everything from small sets, tossing cats, bad dialog, and the horrors of having seen other Corman movies.
- Alan Frank, The Films of Alan Frank: Shooting My Way Out of Trouble, Bath Press, 1998 p 52
- Synopsis at AMG
- Plot Summary for The Undead at IMDB
- Aaron W. Graham, 'Little Shop of Genres: An interview with Charles B. Griffith', Senses of Cinema, 15 April, 2005 accessed 25 June 2012
- Drama: Preminger Places 'Saint Joan' First in New Deal; Hypnosis Rage Goes On Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 04 May 1956: B9.
- Joe Dante on The Undead at Trailers From Hell
- Roger Corman & Jim Jerome, How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never lost a Dime, Muller, 1990 p 44