"Blood of the Zombie" is one of those movies that will appeal to various audiences, therefore doing a standard review for it is impossible. So, let's find out what the movie is about, and then I'll breakdown the different reviews for varying tastes.
"Blood of the Zombie" (which is better known as "The Dead One") is set in New Orleans. John (John McKay) and Linda (Linda Ormond) are newlyweds who are heading for John's ancestral home. However, John cousin Monica (Monica Davis) doesn't want John to overtake the plantation, so she has called for her brother Jonas (Clyde Kelly) to rise from the grave and murder Linda. Can John, who is unaware of Monica's voodoo practicings, save Linda in time?
No matter which of the following categories that the viewer falls into, one thing is for certain: this is a bad movie. It's clear that producer/director Barry Mahon had a very limited budget, therefore using practical locations in New Orleans became a must. Unfortunately, the film is little more than a travelogue at times, as John and Linda visit various New Orleans nightclubs on their honeymoon. (Ouch!) The acting is awful and the zombie himself is ludicrous (why is his tux still so clean?) This would have probably played third on a double-bill in 1961, and even the youngest patron would have been bored.
So, here's the breakdown:
If you're a mainstream film fan who enjoys Hollywood movies that have competent acting and a story, then this movie gets 0 stars out of 5. You will hate every second of it.
If you're the kind of person who seeks out schlocky old low-budget horror films, then this movie gets 4 out of 5. It's not the bottom of the barrel (that's coming next), but it's pretty bad. The bare-bones production values and the use of real New Orleans entertainers give the movie a certain charm and you'll love the voodoo ritual.
And finally, if you're like me and you enjoy performing your own "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" at home, then this film gets 5 out of 5. Every scene is just asking to be mocked and those clever individuals in the audience will have a great time making fun of this clunker. The New Orleans nightclub scenes alone are worth hundreds of jokes. Unfortunately, once you've mocked it, you'll probably never watch it again.
The version of "Blood of the Zombie" that is currently available on store shelves was inapproprately letterboxed during the transfer process. The packaging claims that the image is letterboxed at 2.35:1, but in actuality, it's 1.85:1. This has resulted in an image that looks squeezed and the actors appears unnaturally tall. Media Blasters is in the process of correcting this error and re-pressing the disc. Other than that inexcusable error, the image displays numerous minor defects from the source print, such as scratches and white spots. The colors are actually fairly good, as the reds and greens look fine here. However, if you must have this title, wait for the re-pressing.
The audio track on this disc is a Dolby Digital mono selection. The track doesn't sound as if its been re-mastered, as it carries many defects. For the most part, the dialogue is clear, but in Chapter 1, there are several moment when noise from the New Orleans streets drowns out the speech. The dialogue also sounds very tinny at times, as if it were coming from an AM radio which wasn't correctly tuned. There is noticeable hissing at times, as well as some crackling.
The only extra connected to "Blood of the Zombie" is the film's theatrical trailer.
And, the DVD contains a bonus movie, the 70-minute feature "Voodoo Swamp", which carries no credits, opening or closing. The film concerns a woman who has come to New Orleans to find her missing twin sister. The film is super bargain basement quality, as many scenes were clearly shot MOS and later dubbed, and the dissolves between shots are headache inducing. Even those who love bad movies won't be able to watch this dreck.
Fans of bad cinema should rejoice over the release of "Blood of the Zombie" (AKA The Dead One). However this DVD from Media Blasters/Shriek Show has a flawed transfer making purchase of the DVD a bad idea.