Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Walking Dead (1936)

The Walking Dead [TWD] has nothing to do with the graphic novel and TV series of the same name.  This is the original The Walking Dead starring Boris Karloff as John Ellman, a man wrongly accused of murder who was executed and then resurrected by an ambitious scientist, Dr. Beaumont, played by Edmund Gwenn [A Miracle on 34th Street, Them!].  Both of them are very good in their roles.  Karloff gives a subtle but powerful performance.  Gwenn simply lights up the screen.  The camera absolutely loves him as well.

A special thumbs up also goes to Marguerite Churchill [Dracula's Daughter] who plays the doctor's assistant, Nancy.  While she doesn't have the biggest part in the film, Churchill brings a strong presence to the screen.  You notice her right away.  Her ability to convey empathy and compassion toward Ellman is an important element to the story and she nails the role perfectly.
TWD is part crime thriller, part Frankenstein story and original enough in plot development that it keeps things interesting.  Director Michael Curtiz [Casablanca, Mildred Pierce] filmed TWD in an astonishing 18 days.  Considering the quality of the film, this is impressive to say the least.  TWD is only 66 minutes long but this seems like a good length for the story.  It felt neither too short or too long.  
So, while this isn't an iconic film, it certainly is a job well done from Warner Brothers who were trying to play catch up to Universal Studio's domination of the horror genre in the 1930's.
RATING: Very Good.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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