A zombie is a tall mixed drink made with several kinds of rum, sugar, and fruit juices.
After ten years Jan Peters (Autumn Russell) is returning to her grandmother’s house in Africa. On the road is a man blocking the way. Jan’s driver Sam (Gene Roth) runs him over. Jan is horrified. Sam refuses to stop the car. Waiting at the house is Jan's grandmother (Marjorie Eaton). Mrs. Peters tells Jan that there was no one on the road.
American tycoon George Harrison (Joel Ashley) and his wife Mona (Allison Hayes) are at an African island called Mora Tau on a salvage mission. Along with them are their diver, Jeff Clark (Greg Palmer) and Dr. Jonathan Eggert (Morris Ankrum). They are looking for a fortune in diamonds that are reported to be at the bottom of the sea. The treasure is reported to be guarded by zombies.
The salvagers land on the island. Mrs. Peters warns them of the danger of trying to find the diamonds. She takes them on a tour of the graveyard and shows them every salvage party grave, the date and their nationalities: 1906-British, 1914-German, 1923-British, 1928-Portuguese, and 1938-American. She tells then points to newly dug graves that are waiting for them. The zombies had been quiet for awhile. Now that the salvagers are here, the zombies are restless.
That night after dinner Dr. Eggert discusses his work with Mrs. Peters. He tells her he has been researching the legend of a ship called the Susan B for twenty years. He is writing a book. Mrs. Peters shows Dr. Eggert a picture of her husband Jeremy Peters. He was the captain of the Susan B. She recounts the story of how when the diamonds were stolen from a temple a curse caused the crew to fight and the ship to sink in the bay. The ten men including her husband, Captain Peters, are still guarding the diamonds. She says that she came to Mora Tau after his death, built the house, and intends to help her zombie husband, "return to dust, to find his eternal rest."
“The Zombies of Mora Tau” is an interesting little zombie movie. It was released in 1957 and was directed by Edward L Cahn and produced by Sam Katzman. There’s been some criticism about the zombies being a little boring and just shuffling around. I kinda thought that’s what zombies are. Mindless dead people just shuffling around. I do agree with everyone that Marjorie Eaton is the coolest old lady since Maria Ouspenskaya. Of course others prefer the very sexy Allison Hayes.
I’m not totally sure how the zombies became zombies, especially the woman zombie. That’s just one of several little plot holes but the story is interesting enough to forgive them. All in all it’s a good movie. Even if you’re not a rabid zombie fan it’s different enough to make it appealing.