adventure, fantasy, horror, movie, movie review, zombie movie

July 4th, 2018 Movie – Zombies Of Mora Tau

zombies of maru tau

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

adventure, comedy, movie, movie review

May 27th, 2018 Movie – White Pongo

white pongo

Good morning everybody. I know, I know, I am off to a somewhat late start but that is due to my hanging out with some good friends last night, and subsequently sleeping through my alarm this morning. Now today’s movie comes from the Sci-Fi Classics box set, though I honestly don’t see why it should be included. I mean, this is a jungle adventure movie, with no hint of science fiction to be found. Still, this was one of those early, post WWII movies to come out so who is to say what the studios were thinking. Either way, let’s give this movie a try and see what is in store as I watch, White Pongo.

The plot: In the jungles of Congo, a native tribe is participating in a celebratory dance as the prepare to sacrifice and explorer they captured. An elderly man who is living with the tribe, Dr. Gerig, speaks with the captured man and asks that he deliver the journal of his deceased companion and tell civilization of his discovery if he helps him escape and the man, Gunderson, agrees. Gerig cuts Gunderson’s bindings and he makes his escape but as he does, he hears the sounds of a man being attacked and witnesses a native warrior being killed by a white gorilla, which he calls a white pongo. Gunderson arrives at a settlement in a fevered state, continuously calling out about the white pongo. Gunderson’s doctor, Dr. Kent, is discussing his condition with Peter Van Horn, who believes his story about the white gorilla and has invited some colleagues to hear it for themselves. A short time later, a boat arrives and Peter heads out to greet Sir Harry Bragdon, his daughter Pamela, Clive Carswell, and Baxter and ushers them inside to listen to Gunderson’s tale. Afterwards, Peter tells them that the white gorilla could be the missing link between man and ape and Sir Harry says that he would be interested in finding and capturing the white gorilla. When Kent comes in and says that Gunderson succumbed to the jungle fever he contracted, they make plans to set out on the safari, hiring Hans Kroegert to serve as their guide and Geoffrey Bishop as his helper and rifleman. Before they set out, Carswell feels that Pamela shouldn’t go on the safari, as he is concerned for her safety, but she insists on going and the two end up arguing over it, as Pamela finds herself attracted to Bishop. After stopping and making camp for the first night, Pamela talks with Bishop for a bit before Carswell interrupts them, sending Bishop away. Pamela chastises Carswell, saying just because he works for her father doesn’t mean he can control what she does, and she talks with her father and arranges so that she will be riding in the same boat with Bishop. As the expedition continues, they eventually reach the village where the white gorilla was spotted and speak with the tribal chief. As they are allowed into the village, they spot Gerig and Peter and Sir Harry head over to talk with him about the white gorilla. Gerig hands them his own notes and journals about his journey and attempt to study the white gorilla and dies shortly after they arrive. As the expedition settles in and prepares to try and capture the white gorilla, Bishop and Pamela begin getting closer. Meanwhile, the white gorilla has been observing all of the activity in the camp and one night, he makes his way into the camp and watches Pamela through her window while she is sleeping. Pamela wakes up and ses the gorilla, screaming in fright, and as it goes running off, Sir Harry and the others rush in to check on Pamela, with Sir Harry feeling like it was nothing more than a nightmare. The men build some traps to try and capture the gorilla in case it comes back and that night, Pamela puts on a dress and goes to see Bishop. The two talk briefly before sharing a kiss but Carswell sees them and attempts to attack Bishop. Bishop punches Carswell but the commotion attracts the attention of the others. Pamela tries to explain that it was her fault but Sir Harry ignores her and chastises Bishop for attacking Carswell and touching his daughter, threatening to have him arrested if he goes near her again. Suddenly, the men hear the sound of their trap being sprung and they all rush out to check only to discover an ordinary gorilla in the trap. When asked what to do with it, Sir Harry says to lower a ladder down and let it climb out, as if they kill it, no other gorilla will come near the place. The next day, Carswell goes to speak to Hans, who had said he had other reasons for accepting the safari, and when Hans says that if they fail, he could be hanged, Carswell says he doesn’t care as long as he can leave the jungle and take Pamela with him. Hans tells Carswell his plan and they then capture the other members of the expedition, and tie them up. Hans tells them that he plans on taking all of the gold, which the villagers had discovered, and supplies but will leave them a small supply by the river, enough to get them back to civilization. Carswell then forces Pamela to go with them and they leave, with all the porters following Hans’ orders. Bishop manages to free himself and as he works on freeing the others, explains that he is part of the Rhodesian Secret Service and he had gone undercover on their expedition to try and capture Hans, who is suspected of killing other people that he had been a guide for. Meanwhile, Hans leads his group to the river, all the while not realizing that the white gorilla is following them. When they reach the river, Hans orders Pamela in the boat but she refuses to do so until he leaves the food like he promised. When he doesn’t, Pamela manages to get free from Carswell’s grip and runs off into the jungle, with Carswell chasing after her but Hans shoots Carswell, then chases after Pamela himself. Hans catches up to Pamela but he is then killed by the white gorilla, who then captures Pamela and carries her off. The lead porter, Mumbo Jumbo, goes searching with the men for Hans only to see the gorilla carrying off Pamela. When they return to the boats, they find Bishop and the others there and they explain what they say, covering up that Hans killed Carswell, and Bishop decides to head out to rescue Pamela. Meanwhile, the white gorilla takes Pamela to it’s lair and after chasing away a lion that was nearby, it ends up fighting another gorilla, just as Bishop and the others arrive. The white gorilla wins the fight and as it prepares to charge at the humans, Bishop shoots and wounds it, allowing it to be captured. They then place the gorilla in a cage to ship back to London and Sir Harry, Peter, Baxter, and Kent are discussing the impact the creature will make. Sir Harry and Peter then go to ask Bishop a question about the gorilla only to find him and Pamela embracing and kissing each other, and Bishop silently pulls the curtain down so they can continue their embrace in private.

Wow, I’m glad things got better for Hollywood after the war because this movie was just terrible. The acting was honestly pretty boring and nobody really seemed to put any real emotion into their performance. It honestly felt like they were all simply reading their lines off giant cue cards that were off camera. The story was a confusing mess, well the main story was ok but the different sub-plots that they threw in to try and make this movie more interesting. You had the love triangle between Bishop, Pamela, and Carswell going on, the mystery involving what Hans is really after, and the whole secret that Bishop is hiding. The gorilla costumes looked ridiculously fake, and the fight was equally laughable, as the two gorilla’s were using tree branches/logs as bo staffs to fight each other. If one of them suddenly started twirling it, I would have probably died laughing. So I don’t honestly think this would be anyone’s choice for a good movie but it does make for something to laugh at.

Rating: 1 out of 5