Horror Flick of the Week: The Walking Dead (1936)

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This is not a film about terror, nor will it strike fear into your heart. It is the sort of horror film that reaches deeper, because it is a tragedy. I picked this movie to highlight for the week, because I believe it is one of Karloff’s best performances.

I feel like with all the hundreds of pictures from this period, the title is almost misleading. Even the description can’t do it justice: John Ellman is wrongfully executed and brought back from the dead by a scientific experiment, and then pursues those who were responsible for his death.

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BUT…it’s good that the description is misleading. It’s good that the true story isn’t revealed, at least not the ending. There’s more character in this movie than you would expect, and it is most certainly not the sort of film that deserves to be batched up in a 50-movie monster pack. So much is conveyed through the experiences of this good man, which builds into a wonderful piece.

At the end, you’re left with two questions: should one be brought back from death after having experienced it and when someone commits a truly despicable act, is he his own worst judge? I wish more people knew about this picture, because it truly deserves to be ranked among the top horror films of all time, if not films in general. I wish I had a copy of this so I could do the review justice with more screenshots, but hopefully this powerful clip will do.

 

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