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September 26, 2018, 06:11:33 AM
606464 Posts in 46790 Topics by 6222 Members
Latest Member: naubinruben Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Dead Men Walk (1943) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Dead Men Walk (1943)  (Read 2138 times)
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« on: November 22, 2007, 05:03:39 AM »

I'm putting this in Good Movies because it has a few unusual elements and because I think it's successful in what it was trying to do.

Dead Men Walk is a vampire movie.  Elwyn Clayton has just died by falling off a cliff.  Nobody is too sad about his death, not his brother, Lloyd, nor even his daughter.  In fact, some people in town are quite pleased.

Elwyn was an evil man, see.  He was heavily into the occult, so much so that Satan has granted him life after death as a kind of vampire.  Elwyn has no superhuman strength but he is completely indestructible at night.  He seems to feed on blood but I'm not sure if this is to sustain himself or just something he enjoys.  Elwyn's only weakness is that he becomes an ordinary corpse during the daylight hours.

Why does Elwyn torment his brother?  Because his brother murdered him.  Lloyd was always partial to his niece, Elwyn's daughter, and was afraid Elwyn would either turn her to his evil ways or use her as some kind of sacrifice.  So, he shoved his brother off a cliff.  As retribution, Elwyn is draining a little blood from his daughter nightly and taunting Lloyd about how he is helpless to prevent it.  Just to stick it to his brother a little more, Elwyn allows himself to be seen committing a murder or two.  The brothers look alike, so people naturally blame Lloyd for the murders.

How does Lloyd get out of his fix?  Well, that's one of the unusual elements I alluded to above.  This movie does NOT have a very happy ending.  It's actually quite a harsh climax for the villains and the protagonists alike and elevates the film somewhat above its cheap production.  As well, I'm not sure I've seen very many other vampire movies in which the vampire exploits so well modern man's disbelief in the paranormal.

(How modern the movie is supposed to be isn't clear.  Most of the movie seems to be set in the 1940s, when it was made, but the townspeople and sheriff appear for all the world to be from the late 1800s!  Seriously, they look like they just walked off the set of a western that was filming next door.  In fact, they probably did.)

George Zucco is quite effective in his dual role as Lloyd and Elwyn.  They really seem like two different people.  The supporting cast isn't up to his standard but they aren't bad enough to sink the movie, either.

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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2007, 06:44:26 AM »

The fact that it has Zucco in duel roles, and DWIGHT FRYE in good enuff for me!  Thumbup

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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2007, 12:22:12 AM »

Sounds like an interesting movie.  I'll have to see if I can find it to rent it.

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