Zombies of Mora Tau
|Zombies of Mora Tau|
|Directed by||Edward L. Cahn|
|Produced by||Sam Katzman|
|Music by||Mischa Bakaleinikoff|
|Cinematography||Benjamin H. Kline|
|Edited by||Jack Ogilvie|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Zombies of Mora Tau (a.k.a. The Dead That Walk) is a 1957 black-and-white zombie horror film from Columbia Pictures, produced by Sam Katzman, directed by Edward L. Cahn, that stars Gregg Palmer, Autumn Russel, Joel Ashley, Morris Ankrum, and Marjorie Eaton. The screenplay was written by George H. Plympton and Bernard Gordon. Zombies of Mora Tau was released on a double bill with another Katzman-produced film, The Man Who Turned to Stone (1957).
A team of deep sea divers, led by wealthy American tycoon George Harrison (Ashley), attempt to salvage a fortune in diamonds from the wreckage of a ship that sunk 60 years earlier off the coast of Africa. When the team arrives, they discover that the ship is cursed and the diamonds are protected by the ship's undead crew, now zombies, who are forced to guard the treasure until the diamonds are destroyed or the curse is finally lifted.
- Gregg Palmer as Jeff Clark
- Joel Ashley as George Harrison
- Allison Hayes as Mona Harrison
- Autumn Russell as Jan Peters
- Morris Ankrum as Dr. Jonathan Eggert
- Marjorie Eaton as Grandmother Peters
- Gene Roth as Sam, the chauffeur
- Leonard P. Geer as Johnny
- Karl "Killer" Davis as First Zombie
- Frank Hagney as Captain John Peters
- William Baskin as Zombie
- Ray "Crash" Corrigan as Sailor
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the film on DVD in October 2007 as part of a two-disc, four-film set of Katzman-produced films called Icons of Horror Collection: Sam Katzman. The set contains Zombies of Mora Tau, Creature with the Atom Brain, The Werewolf and The Giant Claw.
David Maine of PopMatters rated the film 6 out of 10 stars and described it as "pretty entertaining overall, and enlivened immeasurably by Ms. Eaton’s fiesty grandma". TV Guide rated it 2 out of 5 stars and called it "standard horror quality for grade-B films". Writing in The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, academic critic Peter Dendle said, "This awkward and talentless movie is nonetheless surprisingly prescient in zombie film history, anticipating a number of motifs that would reappear in later decades". Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For author Arnold T. Blumberg wrote that the film is "a fun late-night creature feature, but it's prone to boring passages and a low-rent production quality that never allows it to break out of the B-movie mold", adding that the film is "almost single-handedly saved by the Maria Ouspenskaya/Celia Lovsky stylings of actress Marjorie Eaton, who lends the film an impressive conviction as well as a wry approach to her already sharp dialogue".
- Maine, David (2013-01-22). "Don’t Open That Door! #27: 'Zombies of Mora Tau' (1957)". PopMatters. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
- "Zombies of Mora Tau". TV Guide. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
- Dendle, Peter (2001). The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia. McFarland & Company. pp. 211–212. ISBN 978-0-7864-9288-6.
- Blumberg, Arnold (2006). Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For. Telos Publishing. p. 391. ISBN 9781845830038.
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