The Walking Dead, Directed by Michael Curtiz, 1936

Synopsis: A career criminal (Boris Karloff) is brought back from the dead via experimental science after being unjustly executed for a crime he didn't commit.

My Thoughts: This is an odd little movie, well-directed by Curtiz, but a definite case of typecasting for its star, Boris Karloff. It's sort of an early example of a genre mash-up, taking the tropes of the gangster film and blending them with some of the motifs from Frankenstein. It works (thanks to Curtiz), but it's overall unoriginality has probably kept it from becoming a bonafide classic. There's a dark morality at work that probably helped to inspire many an EC Comic a few years later.

Karloff gets good mileage from his role, playing John Ellman as a sympathetic thug while living, then as a hollow, creepy, seemingly soulless killing machine, post-resurrection.

Recommended If You Like: The Crow, Val Lewton films, Frankenstein, The Ghoul, EC Comics
categories Reviews, Horror