Dead Men Walk (April 12, 1943)

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George Zucco in Dead Men Walk
 

Released on April 12, 1943: An evil doctor, servant of the devil, comes back to life to avenge his death.

Directed by Sam Newfield

The Actors: George Zucco (Dr. Lloyd Clayton and Dr. Elwyn Clayton), Mary Carlisle (Gayle Clayton), Nedrick Young (Dr. David Bently), Dwight-Frye (Zolarr), Fern Emmett (Kate), Robert Strange - listed as 'Harper' in the credits (Wilkins), Hal Price (the Sheriff), Sam Flint (the minister), Jimmy Aubrey (townsman), Merrill McCormick (townsman), Rose Plumer (townswoman), Al St. John (townsman who finds Kate's body), Forrest Taylor (the evil one).

 

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Do you believe in the Devil? Do you believe that some people have powers beyond the ordinary because of his presence? My dad was a country preacher, and he believed. He often told the story of a time when he, my mom, and my oldest sister Vivian went to a lady's home that professed powers beyond normal. She claimed to him that she could make her kitchen table rise and stomp its legs on the floor in answer to any question that she would put to it. Dad was skeptic, and asked if it would still work if he placed his young daughter Vivian on top of the table. He told us that Vivian sat on the table, and the lady asked the table to stomp the number of coins in dad's pocket. This lady did not know how many coins were in dad's pocket, and he said that he didn't even remember what change he was carrying that night. With my older sister Vivian sitting on top of the table, it rose and fell a certain number of times, and when it was finished my dad reached into his pants pocket and pulled out all of the change that was in it. Sure enough, the number of coins in his pocket matched exactly the number of times that the table rose and fell.

Make a big bowl of hot buttered popcorn and get ready for a devilish good movie from 1943 about an evil Doctor who returns to life as a vampire and is determined to create an army of vampire slaves to serve him. Your neck hair will stand on end as you are frightened by the reality of an evil vampire on the loose, and a young girl about to join his horrible army of the walking dead.

Our frightening movie opens with a funeral - the funeral of one twin Doctor who was killed by his own twin brother, also a Doctor. Our evil and now dead doctor had travelled to India and found books and manuscripts about vampires, dead people that live forever on the blood of others. He and his twin brother were struggling at the top of a cliff, and the evil doctor fell to his death in the struggle. But after the burial, the evil doctor's evil assistant Zolarr digs up the coffin during the dead of night, and takes it to a secret place where he opens the lid, and the dead doctor rises from the coffin. He has discovered the secret of the vampires, and the ability to live forever on the blood of others.

The good twin brother/doctor soon finds a dead lady with puncture marks in her neck, and our mystery begins. Later that night the evil doctor appears in the library of his brother, and when his brother fires several shots from a gun at the evil brother, he merely laughs and disappears into nothingness as the good brother watches in disbelief. There is an old lady that the town thinks may be daffy, but she knows about vampires, and may be the key to his destruction down the road . . . we need to keep an eye on her. Next, the vampire doctor aims his teeth at pretty young niece Gayle. One morning she notices two small piercings in her neck, and her health starts to go downhill. It looks like she is slowyly dying, and the good doctor cannot find a reason. Kate, the crazy lady brings Gayle a necklace with a cross on it and tells her that as long as she wears it she will remain safe.

Next the battle begins between good and evil, and we are not sure how this one will end . . . well, knowing all movies from the Hayes era, we have an idea, but we still feel the chills of evil on our skin as this well-made thriller walks us towards the classic but frightening vampire ending.