Hammer Studios had a great eye for a location, but at the same time were one of those studios who’d never use a set just once if there was the possibility of recycling them and often shot films back-to-back to make that easier. For instance, when their set designer Bernard Robinson made a magnificent replica of a Cornish fishing village on the Hammer backlot, there was no way they were going to use it just for one movie. The end result was two very different Hammer productions, both directed by John Gilling and released in 1966, both tackling colonial themes to varying levels of success, both ranking among their more interesting releases of the mid-1960s.
The Plague of the Zombies
The action of this one kicks off when medical authority Sir James Forbes (André Morell) receives a request for assistance from Dr. Peter Tompson (Brook Williams), a former student of his. After qualifying as a doctor, Peter became the general practitioner for a small Cornish village, and in the course of his work he’s stumbled across peculiar happenings in town and wants Sir James to help investigate.
Sir James is a grumpy old fart who’d rather go fishing, but his daughter Sylvia (Diane Clare) convinces him to go down – partially because Peter married an old school friend of hers, Alice (Jacqueline Pearce, pre-Servalan) and she wants an excuse to visit. Soon the Forbes and Tompson families will face a diabolical combination of idyllic countryside, suspicious locals and voodoo mayhem.