John Carlton (John McKay) and Linda (Linda Ormond) are newlyweds. Now that he has married, Johnny has inherited the family plantation, Kenilworth, from his grandfather. His cousin Monica (Monica Davis) is not happy that John is now the new owner. Monica’s brother Jonas (Clyde Kelly) was originally supposed to inherit the plantation when he married; however, he died of a mysterious disease before that could happen. Monica is deep into Voodoo and holds ceremonies in the old slave quarters on the plantation. Her plan is to raise her brother Jonas’ body from the dead and have him exact her vengeance.
On their wedding day John and Linda see the sights of New Orleans and take in a show. One of the acts is a dancer named Bela Bela (Darlene Myrick). On their way to Kenilworth, they pass a car alongside of the road. The car belongs to Bela. Unable to help her fix the car Johnny offers to let her stay with them for the night and call a garage in the morning.
Monica is not happy that John and Linda are there, so she is especially upset that they brought Bela with them. John lays down the law and tells Monica that she is welcome to stay at Kenilworth, but he is the proper heir. Monica wonders out loud how the will would be affected should John’s wife die before he took legal possession of the estate.
The next day Bela finds out that the garage needs to order a part to fix her car. The part won’t be in for another day. John and Linda offer to let her stay another night. After everyone retires for the evening Monica summons the members of the Voodoo cult and performs another ceremony. Monica raises Jonas from his sarcophagus and sends him to kill Linda. But Jonas kills Bella by mistake.
“Blood of the Zombie” AKA “The Dead One” was released in 1961 and was written directed and produced by Barry Mahon. It is a low budget independent regional American horror movie. After a short distribution run, at local drive-ins, the movie disappeared. Thought lost for forty years the movie finally surfaced, not that anyone was looking for it. It was shot in color and is one of the first two zombie films made that was in color. The other being “Doctor Blood’s Coffin” 1961.
The movie is short but slow, and really bad. It was filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana. The highlights include some bad acting and a ridiculous script. The zombie make-up is actually decent although very Michael Jacksonish, post plastic surgery.
Director Mahon’s claim to fame was directing a bunch of “nudie cuties” and as a member of the Royal Air Force he flew combat missions and shot down 6 enemy planes. He was shot down over France and was a prisoner of war. He escapes twice but was recaptured.