The Living Dead (1932)

THE LIVING DEAD (1932)
(a.k.a. UNHEIMLICHE GESCHICHTEN)
Article #525 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-22-2002
Posting date: 1-15-2003

Several different stories are tied together by the pursuit of a murderer.

UNHEIMLICHE GESCHICHTEN has several alternate titles on IMDB; I’ve chosen the title that matches the listing in the book that supplied the title for me. It’s a remake (by the same director) of the 1919 movie UNHEIMLICHE GESCHICHTEN, and even though there are several instances of directors remaking older movies, this is the only one I know of that involves remaking an anthology. It’s not a strict remake; only two of the stories return from the original movie, and the linking mechanism has been changed entirely. In fact, this time it plays out like one long story with certain distinct episodes, a very curious way to handle this sort of movie. In fact, it’s a little hard for me to tell where one story leaves off and another begins, partially because my print is in German without subtitles. Nonetheless, I found it fascinating viewing; visually, it is quite strong, and the acting is good enough throughout that they hold my interest even if I didn’t know what they were saying. This one is played more for comedy, and this comes through at times. Of the stories, I definitely recognize “The Black Cat” and “The Suicide Club” (I think that’s the correct title; it was one of the holdovers from the first movie). The best scene is a fight sequence held in the middle of a museum of life-size ambulatory puppets.

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