The Walking Dead (1936)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
The Walking Dead Photos
as John Ellman
as Judge Shaw
as Dr. Evan Beaumont
as Trigger Smith
as Mrs. Shaw
as Prison Warden
as Stephen Martin
as Reporter (uncredited)
as 1st (American) Radio Announcer (uncredited)
as Cellist's Guard (uncredited)
Critic Reviews for The Walking Dead
Horror pictures are a staple commodity, and this one was taken from one of the better shelves.
Creaky but entertaining supernatural thriller about bringing back the dead.
In film after film, Karloff functioned as a wanderer in the shadow land between life and death. If the movies he inhabited sometimes were considered juvenile, the subject matter that motivated them couldn't have been more adult, more profound.
Audience Reviews for The Walking Dead
Another excellent outing from Boris Karloff. He plays John Elman, a man framed for murder of a judge and then executed before evidence that could free him is discovered. Dr. Beaumont (Edmund Gwenn) has the means to bring Elman back to life through some Dr. Frankenstein-like experiments, and does so. Beaumont begins questioning Elman about what he saw and experienced "on the other side". Elman remembers little of his situation but sets out to avenge his execution against the men responsible. Karloff's character is very much like the Monster he made famous -- even his makeup job is similar, although much less severe. I had the same empathy for him in this film as in Frankenstein. But he could still make the hairs stand up on your neck -- Elman asking each man who framed him in his strange otherworldly lisp "Why did you have me executed?" was creepy as hell, as was Elman wandering through a cemetery saying "I belong here." RIcardo Cortez had his moments as the lawyer/racketeer responsbile for the Elman's framing. And Barton MacLane was..well... Barton MacLane. A first-class piece of filmmaking, courtesy of Michael Curtiz, who went on to direct Casablanca. As good as it is, I dropped a 1/2 star because of the cheezy last line about "our Lord God is a jealous god." Please. Was that really necessary?
Take a gangster film and mix in a little horror, and you get The Walking Dead. Very atmospheric; shot beautifully. They definitely don't make movies like this anymore, nor could they without the excellent skills of Boris Karloff. He plays Elman with such heart, it just lures you in. A shortish film done at just the right pace.
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