In the 1800’s mad scientist Dr. Malthus (Fernando Casanova) discovers the secret of eternal youth. The process includes draining the blood of young virgins and intravenously putting it into his veins. He is eventually captured and hung. Years later Malthus’ grandson Martin (Fernando Casanova) inherits his grandfather’s estate. While inspecting the mansion Martin stumbles on the entrance to a stone corridor. The corridor leads to Malthus’ secret laboratory. Inside the laboratory Martin finds Malthus’ notes on his formula for eternal youth as well as the corpses of the young women he kept prisoner in his experiments.
Martin reads Malthus’ notes and believes that if he follows the instructions he can bring his grandfather back to life. Martin goes to the cemetery and steals his grandfathers’ body from the family crypt. He then kidnaps a woman and transfers her blood into his grandfather. It works but the effect is temporary. Malthus needs to find the solution to the blood separation problem in order for his theory to be proved. The newly revived mad scientist continues on with his experiments. At first Martin helps him in his research by acquiring blood plasma, but Malthus is insane and has no problem with killing people to get the fresh blood he needs.
“Creature of the Walking Dead” was released in 1965 and was butchered by Jerry Warren. It is a horror adapted by Warren from a 1961 Mexican horror film “La Marca del Muerto” or “Mark of the Dead Man”. The Mexican film was directed by Fernando Cortés and was written by Alfredo Varela Jr.
Instead of just dubbing the movie into English like K. Gordon Murray did with the Mexican films he released to the U.S. Warren did a bunch of editing and used voice over during most of the Mexican scenes. In some places he did a little dubbing and he added scenes with American actors who either described what happened in the scenes that were cut out or added scenes that really had nothing to do with the movie. The editing was also atrocious.
For example there is a scene early in the film with Bruno Ve Sota as a police inspector talking about how they caught and executed Dr. Malthus. It’s all talky. You spend a lot of time listing to Ve Sota and watching him get the longest arm massage ever. Warren also added some scenes with Katherine Victor as Mrs. Roger Vernon, a fortune teller, and included a séance. It adds nothing to the film.
Warren also added a name in the credits for an actor called Rock Madison. He was even given top billing. There is no such person. It’s a combination of the names Rock Hudson and Guy Madison. The name was added to the credits to make the cast seem bigger. Warren also used the name in his film “Man Beast” 1956 as well.
The original film is available on youtube if you understand Spanish. The film is clear and crisp. There is also a nice gothic atmosphere to the Spanish film. The plot flows nicely and you can pick out some of it from seeing the hatchet job Warren put out. I would love to be able to find it subtitled so I can see how the movie is supposed to look.
For the most part “Creature of the Walking Death” is a bad movie. Well, except for the parts that were origianally part of “La Marca del Muerto”. Those sections of the film are wonderfully gothic and the cinematography was really good. It wouldn’t have been so bad to take a bad movie and make it worse, but in this case, Warren took a good movie and made it his own.