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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Edward L. Cahn
USA 1957

 

Director Edward L. Cahn teams with another great writer, Bernard Gordon (using his blacklist nom de plume Raymond T. Marcus) for this delightfully loopy adventure about a sunken ship whose cargo of diamonds is guarded by its zombified crew members. And wouldn’t ya know it, there’s a bunch of foolhardy scavengers who aren’t scared of The Swimming Dead. The 50’ Woman herself, Allison Hayes, stars along with Gregg Palmer (From Hell It Came), Morris Ankrum (Earth vs. The Flying Saucers), Gene Roth (Attack of the Giant Leeches) and B-western star Ray “Crash” Corrigan.

***

American tycoon George Harrison, his beautiful wife, Mona, and deep-sea diver Jeff Clark are off the coast of Africa hoping to salvage a fortune in diamonds at the bottom of the sea near the voodoo-haunted island of Mora Tau, and are joined by an English girl named Jan. The treasure is reported to be guarded by Zombies, walking dead-men doomed to roam the earth until men stop trying to find the sacred treasure. Here, they are walking the sea-bottom, and there is a large conflict of interest between them and the treasure-seekers.

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 1957

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Sony (Icons of Horror Collection: Sam Katzman) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC vs. Arrow (Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Box Cover

 

  

  

Only available from Arrow at present as part of their Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman which includes Creature with the Atom BrainThe WerewolfZombies of Mora Tau and The Giant Claw

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Sony - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:49:09.376         1:09:04.932
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.68 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 28,529,436,459 bytes

Feature: 20,856,970,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate DVD:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1059 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1059 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.68 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Edition Details:

Sinister Savages: Chapter 2 of serial Mysterious Island
• Mr. Magoo cartoon (Terror Faces Mr. Magoo)

• Comedy Short: Midnight Blunders
• Trailer for all 4 features and other sci-fi classics

DVD Release Date: October 16th, 2007

2 Transparent Keep Cases inside a cardboard box
Chapters: 16 for each

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 28,529,436,459 bytes

Feature: 20,856,970,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Brand-new introduction by critic Kim Newman (7:34)
• Brand-new audio commentary by critic Kat Ellinger
• Atomic Terror: Genre in Transformation, a brand-new visual essay exploring the intersection of mythical horror creatures and the rational world of science in the films of Sam Katzman by critic Josh Hurtado (19:48)
• Theatrical Trailer (1:55)
• Image Gallery

Fully illustrated 60-page collector’s book featuring extensive new writing by Laura Drazin Boyes, Neil Mitchell, Barry Forshaw, Jon Towlson and Jackson Cooper
80-page collector’s art book featuring reproduction stills and artwork from each film and new writing by historian and critic Stephen R. Bissette
2 double-sided posters featuring newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork for each film by Matt Griffin


Blu-ray Release Date:
September 13th, 202
1
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside hard case

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray (September 2021): Arrow have transferred Edward L. Cahn's Zombies of Mora Tau to Blu-ray. This is only available from Arrow, at present, as part of their Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman which includes Creature with the Atom BrainThe WerewolfZombies of Mora Tau and The Giant Claw.

As with the other three in this set, the SD transfers are darker, greener with compromised contrast and we lose a sliver of information on all four edges, as in this case, the 1080P is in 1.78:1 aspect ratio opening-up the frame a small degree (4%.). It predictably looks much better - brighter, better shadow detail and contrast as well as exporting healthy, consistent grain texture rather than the noise/compression artifacts of the 14-year old DVD. It's a definite, pleasing, upgrade for fans of the film.

NOTE: We have added 56 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Arrow use a DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. Zombies of Mora Tau has, surprisingly, few aggressive moments and the score is an amalgamation of stock music, uncredited - by the likes of film composers Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (The Return of the Vampire, Night Editor, And Then There Were None,) Mischa Bakaleinikoff (The Lineup, New Orleans Uncensored, The Crooked Web, Cell 2455 Death Row, Comanche Station, It Came from Beneath the Sea, The Giant Claw, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, The 27th Day, 20 Million Miles to Earth, Lady for a Day,) score by avant garde classical composer and pianist George Antheil - who has written music for Dementia, The Sniper, In a Lonely Place, Make Way for Tomorrow (1937), Sirocco (1951), House by the River (1950) Tokyo Joe (1949) and other Ray films, including, Knock on Any Door (1949,) George Duning (Two Rode Together, The Eddy Duchin Story, 3:10 to Yuma, Jeanne Eagels, The Shadow on the Window, My Sister Eileen, The Mob, Affair in Trinidad, Tight Spot, Johnny O'Clock, The Dark Past, Convicted, and Between Midnight and Dawn etc.,) Hugo Friedhofer (Plunder of the Sun, One-Eyed Jacks Two Flags West, Man in the Attic, Ace in the Hole, Body and Soul, Gilda, The Bishop's Wife,) Miklós Rózsa score (Criss Cross, The Killers, The Lost Weekend, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Double Indemnity) and others sounding clean, adding creepy moods, with consistent dialogue in the lossless transfer. Arrow offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Arrow Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Kat Ellinger. She discusses how Zombies of Mora Tau was a fresh take on the zombie genre, the opportunities that arose in genre films in the 50s, the experimentation, the new market of teenagers etc. She also talks about Katzman, Edward L. Cahn, the cast and crew. It's at her usual well-researched format analyzing the film's lesser discussed details in an informative manner. There is also a brand-new 20-minute visual essay exploring the intersection of mythical horror creatures and the rational world of science in the films of Sam Katzman by critic Josh Hurtado. It is entitled Atomic Terror: Genre in Transformation. It's amusing seeing the new 50's take on horror, the link between science (atomic age) and mythology and corresponding filmic shift - it's well worth the watch. There is also a theatrical trailer and image gallery. As part of the Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman is a fully illustrated 60-page collector’s book featuring extensive new writing by Laura Drazin Boyes, Neil Mitchell, Barry Forshaw, Jon Towlson and Jackson Cooper as well as an 80-page collector’s art book featuring reproduction stills and artwork from each film and new writing by historian and critic Stephen R. Bissette, 2 double-sided posters featuring newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin and reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork for each film by Matt Griffin.    

Edward L. Cahn's Zombies of Mora Tau is possibly my favorite of Arrow's Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman Blu-ray set. It has the typical modest special effects but makes up for its with extensive zombie extras. It's certainly not Jacques Tourneur's "I Walked With A Zombie" but did evokes memories of that masterful film. Marjorie Eaton as Grandmother Peters also adds another layer of mystery as she channels Maria Ouspenskaya from The Wolf Man. Another short but delightfully imperfect nostalgia gem in the Arrow Blu-ray package. Strongly recommend to fans of these 50's 'B' fantasy, sci-f- and horror genres.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

Sony - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC

 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Sony - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Sony - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Sony - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Sony - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

 

  

  

Only available from Arrow at present as part of their Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman which includes Creature with the Atom BrainThe WerewolfZombies of Mora Tau and The Giant Claw

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Sony - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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