Truth to tell, King of the Zombies is an unusually elaborate — elaborate being a relative term here — production for Monogram. The sets are actually solid-looking and atmospherically lit (as opposed to merely under-lit, as was often the case). And the musical score by Edward Kay is more ambitious than the studio’s usual use of library tracks. Whether or not it really deserved that Academy Award nomination it got (no, I’m not kidding) is another matter. The story, of course, is beyond preposterous with its Nazi agent (never identified as such, but it’s obvious) mad doctor attempting to use voodoo rituals to get secret information. But then, that’s part of the charm of these movies — the feeling that they were written by precocious (but demented) 12-year-olds, with all the logic that suggests.
The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen King of the Zombies Thursday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. at Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Scott Douglas.