Dead Men Walk – USA, 1943 – reviews

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Dead Men Walk
 is a 1943 American horror feature film directed by Sam Newfield from a story and screenplay by Fred Myton. It was produced by Sigmund Neufeld for Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC). The movie stars George Zucco, Mary Carlisle, Nedrick Young and Dwight Frye.

Plot:

The twin of a kindly small-town physician returns from the grave for vengeance against his brother, who secretly killed him because the twin served Satan…

Reviews:

“Not only does the film skimp on plot and script writing, it also skimps on sets. There are only four sets throughout the movie: the good doctor’s mansion, the church, outdoor/cemetery/shrubs, and the vampire’s bungalow he borrowed from Elvira.” Cheap as They Come

“The most interesting aspects of this film are the rather silly doom-talking elderly spinster, Kate: Dwight Frye, in one of his very last roles as Zolarr (and he doesn’t look at all well); the fact that the movie does not follow conventional vampire lore, as the brother becomes a vampire through the use of black magic…” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Musings and Ramblings

“While nothing about it is original, even for 1943, it has undeniable charm; the exact kind you hope to find when purging on shoddy public domain prints of shocks from days gone by. While George Zucco performs well in Jekyll & Hyde type roles, Renfield himself, Dwight Frye steals the show as the familiar old hunchback helper.” Oh, the Horror!

dead men walk george zucco

“Dracula might wistfully fantasize about what it would be like “to die— to be truly dead,” but Elwyn Clayton is having too much fun for regrets. It’s a part that demands a certain amount of overacting, and Zucco seems more than happy to deliver. His zeal would be enough to compensate for a much longer list of shortcomings, and a much shorter list of virtues, than Dead Men Walk possesses.” Scott Aslin, 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

“Aside from a mildly energetic turn from Zucco, there isn’t much to recommend this humdrum Poverty Row horror. Frye, in one of his last film appearances, gives a fun supporting performance. But the rest of the cast is a listless bunch. And there’s precious little action, save an offscreen murder and an uninspired fiery finale.” The Terror Trap

Cast and characters:

  • George Zucco … Dr. Lloyd Clayton / Dr. Elwyn Clayton
  • Mary Carlisle … Gayle Clayton
  • Nedrick Young … Dr. David Bentley
  • Dwight Frye … Zolarr
  • Fern Emmett … Kate
  • Robert Strange … Wilkins [Harper, in credits]
  • Hal Price … Sheriff Losen
  • Sam Flint … Minister
  • Jimmy Aubrey … Townsman (uncredited)
  • Frank Matts … Townsman (uncredited)
  • Merrill McCormick … Townsman (uncredited)
  • Milburn Morante … Groceryman (uncredited)
  • Rose Plumer … Funeral Mourner (uncredited)
  • Al St. John … Townsman who finds Kate’s Body (uncredited)
  • Forrest Taylor … The Evil One (introduction) (uncredited)

Release:

Dead Men Walk was reissued in the USA in 1948 by Madison Pictures Inc. The film is now in the public domain and free to view online.

Offline reading:

Forgotten Horrors 2: Beyond the Horror Ban by Michael H. Price with George E. Turner, Midnight Marquee Press, 2009

Download whole film at the Internet Archive

Image credits: Wrong Side of the Art!

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