“You’ll never leave here alive!”
Doctor Lloyd Clayton (George Zucco) has murdered his twin brother Elwyn. Elwyn was a Satanist and involved in occult practices. Elwyn's hunchback assistant Zolarr (Dwight Frye) believes that Lloyd killed his master Elwyn. He confronts the doctor, but Lloyd maintains that the act was self-defense. He also maintains that his brother was evil and dangerous.
Elwyn comes back to life as a vampire, feeding on the blood of the local villagers. He confronts Lloyd and says he knows that Lloyd pushed him off the cliff. He says he will get revenge for being murdered by taking the life of his niece Gayle (Mary Carlisle).
When Gayle gets sick her fiancé Dr. David Bentley (Nedrick Young) sees two marks on her neck. Lloyd tells David that Elwyn has come back to life. David doesn’t believe him. David starts to believe that Lloyd is killing his niece. Lloyd tells David to stay with Gayle and keep watch over her. When David sees Elwyn himself he finally starts to believe Lloyd’s story. But the townspeople don’t. There are rumblings of retribution in town.
Gayle is slowly dying. Lloyd realizes the only way he can help his niece is to kill Elwyn again. He plans to conquer him with fire. How did Lloyd, the learned doctor some up with all this? Kate.
At this moment I should bring up Kate (Fern Emmett). She is a character in the movie that is referred to as “Crazy Kate”. The problem with that scenario is that, when it comes to vampires, she is smarter than anyone else. She knows that Elwyn is a vampire. She knows that he needs to sleep in his own coffin at night. She knows that Gayle needs to wear a crucifix to ward of a vampire. She knows that to kill a vampire you need fire. Anything that Lloyd knows, Kate told him.
“Dead Men Walk” was produced in 1943 and was directed by Sam Newfield. The movie is another poverty row movie from PRC (Producers Releasing Corporation.) There are a couple of things that make this movie wonderful. First George Zucco gets to ham-it-up playing two parts. One good and one bad. Not only that one’s alive and one’s dead. The second wonderful thing about this movie is my favorite ghoul Dwight Frye. This was one of his last movies before he died.
The sets used in the movie were the same ones used in Zucco and Newfield’s last movie “The Mad Monster”. I have to say though that Zucco makes a better mad man than he does a vampire. Perhaps I’m a little jaded being use to seeing sexy vampires. It’s still an unusual vampire movie. I was pleased with it.