Forgotten Films: Zombies on Broadway (1945)

Review by Scott A. Cupp

This is the 128th in my series of Forgotten, Obscure or Neglected Films

Welcome back, my friends, these shows never end. Or never seem to. This week we have a comedy from 1945 starring Wally Brown as Jerry Miles and Alan Carney as Mike Strager as a couple of press agents working for Ace Miller (Sheldon Leonard), a semi-retired gangster who is opening a new night club called The Zombie Hut in New York. Jerry and Mike have promoted the club as having a “real, authentic zombie” for opening night and local radio personality Douglas Walker (Louis Jean Heydt), who has it in for Ace, is calling the bluff and threatening fraud.

Jerry and Mike find themselves in a pickle and on a boat to San Sebastian to find Professor Renault (Bela Lugosi) who has been working with zombies. If they fail to produce a genuine zombie, they will commit “suicide” with the help of Ace and his men.

In San Sebastian they meet up with Jean La Dance (Anne Jeffries) who is a nightclub singer and knife thrower who wants to get off the island with their help. As they look for a zombie and the professor, they encounter voodoo ceremonies and run afoul of the participants. Anne is captured by a zombie commanded by Renault who is trying to create zombies via a scientific method with no success. When Jerry and Mike arrive on the scene, Renault hopes to use them for his experiments. Mike proves susceptible to the serum Renault has created.

Brown and Carney are a second rate Abbott and Costello and their routines seem tired and tiring.  Anne Jeffries and Bela Lugosi are the class of the film and are pretty well wasted here. The most saving grace of the film is that it is short. The small monkey that appears about 2/3 of the way in steals much of the last half of the film.

IMDB and Wikipedia indicate that several of the sets and actors appear to be from I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, the 1943 Jacques Tourneur film. I have not seen that film in a while so I can’t vouch for that.

The film was profitable and led to GENIUS AT WORK, one more Brown and Carney film with Jeffries and Lugosi in 1946. Overall Brown and Carney made nine or so films together. They were never Abbott and Costello.

Series organizer Todd Mason hosts more Tuesday Forgotten Film reviews at his own blog and posts a complete list of participating blogs.


Please, please, make it stop

Pride, Prejudice and Enough Already!

Pride, Prejudice and Enough Already!

Just spotted at Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Mag: LOCUS is reporting that Sherri Browning Erwen “sold JANE SLAYRE, a literary mash-up in which Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is a vampire slayer.”

This, of course, comes on the heels of Pride, Prejudice and Zombies; Sense, Sensibility and Sea Monsters; Emma and the Werewolves; and Mansfield Park and Mummies.  While a Austen/Bronte-meet-ze-monster book may have been a clever idea at one point, I just can’t imagine that the concept is worth sustaining a whole speculative fiction cottage industry.

Funny how literary types like to bash their Hollywood brethren for recycling tired tripe yet…

A year-end apology

The Candy Skulls blog: Now with zombies!

The Candy Skulls blog: Now with zombies!

I know it’s completely, utterly and unforgivably lame that I haven’t updated my blog since Halloween. Please accept my apology for that. I simply let writing, work, my return to school and myriad projects around the house keep me away.

I’ll try to do better.

Since I’ve been incommunicado, I managed to attend my first World Fantasy Convention. I met a ton of lovely people, caught up with some old friends and saw Jeffrey Ford and Kij Johnson win well-deserved World Fantasy Awards. As it was such a positive experience, I hope to be able to keep attending World Fantasy. Although I pray the hotel next year will have a less pricy bar.

As for actual writing, I couldn’t be more happy that my story “The Circus” is appearing in the January issue of Necrotic Tissue, which has made the jump from an online to print publication. I’ve got my payment in hand, and I received a free t-shirt from the mag (my second now). Just waiting for my comp copy in the mail.

In addition, I have a zombie story — my first zombie story, come to think of it — under consideration for an anthology. Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best on that. Maybe I’ll have more good news to report soon.