Wednesday, June 26, 2013

THE WALKING DEAD (1936) movie review

Walking Dead, The (1936) d. Curtiz, Michael (USA)

A real disappointment, even for Karloff fans (and especially for those thinking they're picking up source material for the AMC zombie series). Boris stars as an ex-convict framed for murder who is then put to death in the electric chair. But as his innocence becomes apparent, semi-mad doc Edmund Gwenn brings him back to life…with a Lindbergh heart? (There’s a mildly amusing bit with Gwenn uttering, “He’s ALIVE.”) But then Karloff develops some sort of extrasensory ability to recognize those that railroaded him, and begins to show up at their places in the middle of the night.

But does he exact any kind of firsthand revenge? Nope, he just stands there while his victims freak out and fall out of windows or under trains or what have you. It’s like director Michael Curtiz and his quartet of screenwriters didn’t want to sully Karloff's character’s victim status by making him an actual villain. I’m all for suspension of belief, especially when it comes to the older genre flicks, but even a Fool has his limits.

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