Dead Men Walk (2002) Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
Evil Dr. Elwyn Clayton has passed on. Well, we sure thought he passed on. After all, there was a funeral, a coffin, which went into the ground, and the relatives divvied up the goodies. You would have thought that evil Dr. Elwyn Clayton was dead. But no, just like any other relative who has overstayed their welcome, Dr. Elwyn Clayton refuses to stay dead. Well, he refuses to stay in the ground. Dr. Elwyn Clayton has decided that he must stay alive…er…undead, and haunt his nice brother Dr. Lloyd Clayton (both Dr. Claytons are played by George Zucco, who later appeared in “David and Bathsheba” and “Captain from Castile,” among many other films), and attractive young niece Gayle Clayton (Mary Carlisle, in her final film role; she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame).
I pause for a brief aside. Evil Dr. Elwyn Clayton is really evil. He keeps telling kindly Dr. Lloyd Clayton how he is going to turn niece Gayle Clayton into a vampire and she will be at his beck and call forever. This guy is not only evil, but perverted!
Kindly Dr. Lloyd Clayton has a bit of a trust issue with just about everyone, except niece Gayle. Gayle’s love interest, Dr. David Bently (Nedrick Young, in his first role; he appeared in another two dozen plus movies before his untimely death in 1968), thinks kindly Dr. Lloyd Clayton is out to kill Gayle, only David is not sure how he is doing it.
The rest of the movie involves seeing evil Dr. Clayton running about trying to show how clever he is and kindly Dr. Clayton attempting to thwart evil Dr. Clayton. It is all in good fun and enjoyable if you are a fan of classic horror movies.
A couple other characters in this movie are worthy of note. This movie would not be a real vampire movie without the addition of Dwight Frye as the vampire’s sidekick Zolarr. Frye brought Renfield to life in the original “Dracula” with Bela Lugosi. He also played in “The Vampire Bat” and an array of other movies until his untimely death in 1943. Another interesting character actor is Fern Emmett as crazy Kate. Fern played in more than 200 roles in her 50 year career.
Several other character actors have numerous film credits that I leave to the viewer to investigate further. Among them are Robert Strange, who appeared in “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” (1945) along with more than 70 other films, Hal Price, with at least 270 film and television appearances, which included “The Lone Ranger” and “The Roy Rogers Show,” and Sam Flint, with more than 300 film and television roles, the last of which was in the 1968 Monkee film “Head.”
When you watch an old horror movie you never know what you are going to see. I enjoyed this movie. Dr. Elwyn Clayton became a vampire by studying arcane books and scrolls rather than being bitten by a creature with suspect oral hygiene. Having the same actor portray the vampire and his good brother was interesting too, though I was a little slow to pick up on the similarity between brothers, partially because of the quality of the picture.
Speaking of picture quality, it was generally good, but some of the night scenes were a bit too dark. I also thought the sound was muddy in places, but I could tell what everyone was saying.
I think fans of classic vampire movies will find this one an interesting addition to their collection. This movie has enough unique aspects to it that compensate periodically for occasional weakness in the acting and the problems that old movies have with sound and picture. If you are not a fan of classic horror or classic vampire movies, you will probably want to pass this one by.
About Dead Men Walk (2002)
Starring: George Zucco, Mary Carlisle, Nedrick Young, Dwight Frye, Fern Emmett
Runtime: 64 minutes
Director: Sam Newfield