16 September 2014

Dead Men Walk (1943)
64 min.
Directed by Sam Newfield.
With George Zucco, Mary Carlisle, Nedrick Young, Dwight Frye, Fern Emmett, Robert Strange, Hal Price, Sam Flint.
This 1943 horror is bland mediocrity.

Zucco, a veteran of the genre, does double duty playing two brothers - Lloyd and Elwyn Clayton.

As the story unfolds, Elwyn has just died, and Lloyd is in mourning for his departed sibling. (The reality is that Lloyd actually offed his brother, believing him to be some sort of devil worshipper.)

As fate would have it, Lloyd needn't grieve long. Because Elwyn isn't really dead. Well, at least not completely.

Aided by a hunchback assistant named Zolarr (Frye), he's been resurrected as an undead vampire. Now, Elwyn spends his time prowling the local cemeteries for some human blood. And he's already picked out his next meal: his own lovely niece Gayle (Carlisle)!

Lloyd teams up with Gayle's boy toy Harper (Strange) with one objective in mind: stop Elwyn before it's too late.

Aside from a mildly energetic turn from Zucco, there isn't much to recommend this humdrum Poverty Row horror.

Frye, in one of his last film appearances, gives a fun supporting performance. But the rest of the cast is a listless bunch. And there's precious little action, save an offscreen murder and an uninspired fiery finale.

Truth is, you'd do much better with any of the Lugosi-Monogram cheapies from this same period, such as Bowery at Midnight (1942) or The Corpse Vanishes (1942).

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