Not a bad movie but like most of its kind the ritual scenes usually mar it for me. Like many others this one has the goofy chanting and silly costumes all done with serious faces that make the scenes laughable. At least this one has some good conga players. Aside from that flaw this is still worth seeing due to good performances from Andre Morell and Diane Clare.
It’s the 1800’s. People in a small Cornish village are dying from an unknown plague. Dr.Peter Thompson (Brook Williams) moved there a year ago with his wife Alice. He writes to his former professor Sir James Forbes (Andre Morell). His daughter Sylvia (Diane Clare) is a school friend of Alice and they both answer the call.
On the way animal lover Sylvia misdirects some fox hunters. When they get to the village the hunters ride in and knock over a coffin during a funeral. It comes open and the deceaseds brother Martinus yells at Sylvia and her father. The hunters aren’t happy either and warn Sylvia she better not cross their path again.
Alice has a cut on her finger. She doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Think again Alice. Peter gets into an argument at the pub with Martinus. He doesn’t think Peter is much of a doctor since a person dies every month. Back home he and James discuss the situation and James says they have to do an autopsy on one of the bodies. Since the villagers won’t allow it they go to the graveyard at night to dig up a body.
Local cop Sgt.Swift catches them at it. He wants to toss them in jail. James turns over the coffin lid. Nobody home. The other coffins are also empty. Now James, Peter and Swift will work together to try and figure out what’s going on.
Meanwhile Sylvia is walking and gets accosted by the hunters and taken to Squire Hamilton’s house where they are his guests. Read that cult members. They shove her around until Hamilton shows up. He decks the instigator and orders everybody out of there. He apologizes to Sylvia but she too angry to accept.
Alice is taken ill and dies. Sylvia runs into a zombie carrying her body. It’s Martinus’ brother. Hamilton visits her with more apologies and accidentally cuts her hand with a glass. He squeezes the cut supposedly to get any glass that’s in there. It’s just a way of getting some of her blood. He’ll put it on a voodoo doll he keeps in a little coffin in his desk.
James tells Peter he’ll have to perform an autopsy on Alice. The Vicar is at the gravesite with them when he gets tired and heads home. He’s attacked by men in masks. James and Peter run off to help him. While they’re gone cult members to do some fast digging to get to Alice’s body.
James and Peter get back before they can make off with her and they run off. Alice opens her eyes, gets an undead grin on her face and does the zombie walk towards them. James grabs a shovel and hits a home run that knocks Alice’s head clean off.
Later he tries to explain to Peter about the voodoo rites he read about in books from the Vicar’s library. Hamilton lived in Haiti for a long time. He made his money via his family’s now abandoned tin mine. Villagers refuse to work it because of superstition.
The movie goes for a big finish and almost succeeds. Once again the goofy ritual scene brings it down a peg but it’s still worth checking out.