Horror Movie Review: Garden of the Dead (1972)

Garden of the Dead aka Tomb of the Undead is a super low budget horror that was directed by John Hayes and stars Duncan McLeod, Lee Frost and Susan Charney.

It’s a bad movie, a really bad movie but with a bit of early 70’s charm. Charm that makes its hour long runtime a little less of a chore to get through.

It takes place at the Hoover work camp where Windsor County prisoners are put to work producing and transporting formaldehyde. While the guards and warden are busy, a group of prisoners led by Braddock indulge in their favourite pastime. Huffing the fumes of the formaldehyde. It emboldens them to try and escape later that night. Which they almost do but are inevitably all shot and killed.

The guards put the bodies of the men into shallow graves but unknown to them, some of the formaldehyde barrels were punctured in the fire-fight. It leaks onto the graves of the dead reanimating them as zombies. Zombies who want revenge.

The remaining prisoners and guards have no choice but to work together to survive the onslaught.

The issues with Garden of the Dead are many. From a barebones plot to some hilariously bad acting to terrible zombie make-up, it’s the epitome of a bad horror movie. However, it’s inadvertently amusing a lot of the time and the silliness of it all is kind of enjoyable.

Seeing goth looking men running around pretending to attack others with weapons or watching them get high on formaldehyde fumes for ages is just worth laughing at.

It’s silly, it’s campy and it never really fulfils its potential in the gore department. However, at just an hour there are so many worse ways to spend your time. It’s way more enjoyable then a lot of modern zombie flicks!


  • Carl Fisher

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Garden of the Dead
  • The Final Score - 4/10
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