The Walking Dead

  • 1936
  • 1 HR 06 MIN
  • NR
  • Horror, Science Fiction

Boris Karloff, a gentle ex-convict on the road to reform, is framed by a group of gangsters led by corrupt attorney Ricardo Cortez for the murder of the judge who had sent him to prison. Though the evidence is mainly circumstantial, Karloff is convicted and sentenced to die in the electric chair. Immediately after his execution, authorities learn that Karloff...read more

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Boris Karloff, a gentle ex-convict on the road to reform, is framed by a group of gangsters led by corrupt attorney Ricardo Cortez for the murder of the judge who had sent him to prison. Though the evidence is mainly circumstantial, Karloff is convicted and sentenced to die in the

electric chair. Immediately after his execution, authorities learn that Karloff was innocent, so they allow scientist Edmund Gwenn to try bringing him back to life using the new "Lindbergh Heart." (This device was an actual mechanical circulating system developed by famed flier Charles A.

Lindbergh in cooperation with several physicians.) The experiment succeeds and Karloff lives again, though his face has taken on a distinctly Frankensteinian look, and his hair has developed a massive white streak. Though definitely alive, Karloff seems more zombie-like than human, and does not

seem to enjoy his reanimated state. Convinced that Karloff has gained some sort of supernatural knowledge while dead, Gwenn tries to get his reticent subject to reveal what he knows. At night, Karloff confronts those who sent him to the electric chair and literally scares them to death. Eventually

the two surviving crooks, Cortez and Barton MacLane, track Karloff down in a graveyard and kill him, but their getaway car veers off the road and crashes into a power line, electrocuting the pair. While the story is a variation on the FRANKENSTEIN theme, director Michael Curtiz infuses the film

with a moody visual style using low-key lighting and interesting camera angles that make this the best of Karloff's many "living-dead" movies. (The list includes THE MAN WHO LIVED AGAIN [1936]; THE MAN THEY COULD NOT HANG [1939]; THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES [1940]; BEFORE I HANG [1940]; and THE DEVIL

COMMANDS [1941].)

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Boris Karloff, a gentle ex-convict on the road to reform, is framed by a group of gangsters led by corrupt attorney Ricardo Cortez for the murder of the judge who had sent him to prison. Though the evidence is mainly circumstantial, Karloff is convicted an… (more)

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