It’s always interesting to see a pre Night Of The Living Dead zombie movie, as they way zombies were depicted was totally different. While I have seen several of them, this is the only one of those movies I own. The reason for my owning this is because it was a box set of some movies I purchased for the sole reason of it containing The Giant Claw. Now, I have never seen this movie so it should make for an interesting watch. The only thing I know is that there won’t be any flesh eating in this movie. So let’s see what we have with today’s movie, Zombies Of Mora Tau.
The plot: Jan Peters is being driven to her grandmother’s home on the coast of Africa and as she is talking to the driver, Sam, a man appears in the road ahead of them. Sam runs the man over and Jan yells at him to stop but he tells her that it wasn’t a man in the road, it was one of “them”. When they arrive at her grandmother’s house, Jan tells her grandmother what she saw but after Sam explains what happened, her grandmother tells Sam to help Jan take her things to her room. Meanwhile, on a steamer ship off the coast, Captain George Harrison, his wife Mona, Dr. Jonathan Eggert, and diver Jeff Clark are sharing a drink with George toasting to the hopefully successful recovery of $1 million in diamonds. As Jeff and George leave the cabin, one of the crew is getting the landing boat ready when a figure swims up and drags him into the water. George fires into the water, claiming to have hit the man, but Jeff says he could have hit his crewman. When they pull the crewman onto the boat, they discover that his neck has been broken and wonder who the person was that killed him. Back at her grandmother’s house, Jan is putting her things away when she looks out the window and sees her grandmother by the water’s edge, directing a man into the water. Jan heads outside to ask her grandmother what is going on when Jeff, George, Mona, and Jonathan arrive in the landing boat. Grandmother Peters introduces them to Jan and says that she was expecting them, figuring they were their fro the diamonds. When George confirms this, she shows them the graves of the other expeditions that had attempted to reclaim the diamonds over the years and warns them away from it. When Mona falls into an open grave and tells George that she wants to leave, Grandmother Peters offers to put them up for the night. As George and Jeff discuss where they should begin their search, Jonathan talks with Grandmother Peters, explaining that George is after the diamonds but he is after the historical knowledge that can be found from the sunken ship. She tells him how her husband was part of the crew that found the chest of diamonds 60 years ago when 10 men, including her husband, disappeared. The next night, the 10 men returned and killed everyone on the ship and scuttled it, and now continue to guard the cursed diamonds. When Jonathan asks why she is there, she explains that she had come there hoping to find a way to break the curse and send her husband to his eternal rest. Suddenly, Mona and Jan begin screaming as a zombie is in their room and approaching them. Jeff tries to stop it but is easily thrown aside and George prepares to shoot it but Grandmother Peters pushes his gun down and uses a torch to force the zombie outside, explaining that fire is the only thing that scares them. Mona wants to leave but George refuses, saying that he came for the diamonds and refuses to leave without them. Later, Jan is arguing with her grandmother about her knowing about the dangers but Grandmother Peters says she knows what she is doing as she wants them to find the diamonds and hopefully break the curse. Jan heads outside and, seeing Jeff standing by the landing boat, goes over to talk to him. After talking for a while, she tells him about her experience earlier and wants to go find out what happened to the man they hit so Jeff agrees to go with her. After driving to the spot where Sam had hit the zombie, they find the evidence of someone walking away from there and Jeff goes to get something to mark the spot, saying they will come back in the morning with some more men to look further. As he goes to the car, the zombie grabs Jan and carries her into the jungle and Jeff, hearing her scream, goes off looking for her. He catches up to the zombie and attempts to stab him with a knife but it has no effect and the zombie knocks him aside and continues carrying Jan away. The zombie heads into a graveyard and carries Jan into a mausoleum, where the other 9 zombies are also resting and they all move towards Jan but Jeff shows up and uses a flare gun to keep the zombies at bay so they can escape. The next day, Jeff is relaying what happened to George, Mona, and Jonathan as they are eating breakfast and he wants to go ahead and cancel the dive but George convinces him to go through with it. They head back to the ship and Jeff dives down to search for the ship. When he finds it, he starts going to investigate when he is attacked by a zombie, who disconnects his air hose during their struggle. When they lose contact with him, George orders them to winch Jeff back to the surface and as he clears the water, he is finally able to knock the zombie from him, who swims back down to the ship. Jeff loses consciousness and George and the others take him back to the house, where Grandmother Peters explains that the nearest doctor is a 5 hour drive. As Jan looks over him, Jeff regains consciousness and starts talking to her when Mona enters, upset that Jan didn’t tell them he was awake. As Jan starts arguing with Mona, George enters the room, angry to find Mona there, and ends up slapping her out of jealousy. Mona runs off but ends up being grabbed by the zombies and taken away. When the others realize she is gone, Jeff figures that the zombies must have taken her to the mausoleum and leads George, Jonathan, and some men there. When they get there, they see Mona lying on the floor with the zombies around her and Jeff fires a flare to frighten the zombies back. George goes to get Mona but says she is dead when she suddenly sits up. He leads her out of there and the pour some gasoline at the entrance to the mausoleum and Jeff lights it on fire with a flare, keeping the zombies trapped inside. They head back to the house and when they get there, Jan remarks about Mona’s hands feeling cold but Jonathan tries to come up with an excuse for it. When they head inside, Grandmother Peters says that Mona is dead but George refuses to believe it and asks Jan to help him take her to their room. After watching over Mona for a while, George leaves the room and goes to talk with Jeff. While he is gone, Mona gets up, grabs a knife and heads to the bedroom where two of the crew are resting. She kills one of them as the other man cries for help, and George and Jeff rush in and try to stop her. Jan and Grandmother Peters enter the room and and light some candles, then help them guide Mona back to her room, using candles to keep her there. The next day, Jeff and George come up with a plan to get the diamonds, using their cutting torches to keep the zombies at bay underwater. Jeff heads inside the shi, with George keeping watch outside. As Jeff works on cutting into the chest holding the diamonds, the zombies approach the ship but George is able to hold them at bay. Jeff manages to get the diamonds but George is getting overwhelmed and yells for the ship to pull him to safety. They lover the divers stand for him and bring him up, using a flare to scare the zombies away from him. They lower the cage for Jeff and bring him up but the zombies begin making their way onto the ship. Telling Jonathan to take the diamonds and head into the cabin, Jeff and the rest of the crew use torches to try and scare off the zombies but they keep coming towards them. Some of the crew dive overboard and swim away while Jeff and another crewman head into the cabin. Since George is injured, Jeff plans on taking the diamonds and luring the others away from the ship so they can get away and he will rejoin them later but George refuses to let him take the diamonds, thinking he is only going to take them for himself. Jeff knocks George out, grabs the chest, and heads to the launch so he can go to shore but George, recovering from the blow, orders the remaining crew to follow him. Jan meets Jeff at the shore and he takes her inside, where Grandmother Peters says she knew he would succeed. Jeff manages to get the chest open and they quickly work on placing the diamonds into a sack. Outside, George, Jonathan, and two crewmen show up and George tells the crewmen to get the launch ready while he and Jonathan head inside the house. Entering Grandmother Peters’s room, George demands that Jeff hand over the chest and when he does so, he goes to leave with Mona but as they start to get on the boat, Mona kills him and grabs the chest, carrying it away as she leaves with the other zombies. Jeff wants to take the diamonds and leave with Jan but Grandmother Peters says the diamonds must be destroyed or cast to the sea so that the zombies can be at peace. Jeff refuses to believe her and, not wanting to leave either of them there with the zombies, takes them with him. They get to the launch and he plans on selling the diamonds in New York, saying they will be scattered that way but Grandmother Peters says it won’t work. Jeff tells Jan that he wants her to marry him but when she refuses to leave Grandmother Peters, he reluctantly hands her the diamonds. Grandmother Peters proceeds to dump the diamonds overboard and the zombies vanish. Jeff sadly says he will probably never be rich now but Jan smiles and kisses him as they embrace.
To be honest, this was a pretty boring movie. The acting was ok but nobody really stood out. I know that he was supposed to be the “hero” in this movie but I honestly couldn’t find it in myself to really care about Gregg Palmer’s character, Jeff. Actually, I found myself not really caring about any of the characters as they felt too generic and had no real personality among them, even George and his greed. The story was interesting and I liked the idea of the zombies guarding the cursed diamonds but I felt like there could have been a better way of breaking the curse. I mean, obviously they couldn’t destroy the diamonds but scattering them at sea is just boring. Then we get to the end and Grandmother Peters simply dumps them out, fairly close to shore, and that supposedly stops the curse, which makes no since as someone could easily dive down and grab them. The effects were ok for the time but the pacing for everything was soo slow that you could fall asleep waiting for something to happen. If you need something to help you fall asleep, this is the perfect thing to use but I wouldn’t recommend watching it for anything else.
Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5