Creature of the Walking Dead (1965)

Article #1674 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-14-2005
Posting Date: 3-13-2006
Directed by Jerry Warren
Featuring Rock Madison, Ann Wells, Willard Gross

A man moves into the home of his ancestor (a scientist who discovered the secret of eternal youth which involved the draining of blood from young woman, and for which he was executed). When he discovers the scientist’s body, he revives him, and a new rein of terror begins.

This is another of Jerry Warren’s attempts at taking a foreign movie (a researcher at IMDB says it’s a Mexican movie called LA MARCA DEL MUERTO) and, using his usual methods of minimal dubbing, slicing and dicing and tedious inserts, tries to adapt it for English-speaking audiences. He fares a little better than usual; there aren’t quite as many dull inserts, and the story remains somewhat comprehensible despite his fiddling. Granted, the story itself is so over-familiar that it’s harder to not know what’s going on. But an over-familiar story can still work if the movie is able to build a proper sense of drama and tension, but Warren’s fiddling prevents this at every turn; his avoidance of dubbing and use of voice-over narration makes everything that happens seem distant and uninteresting, and the movie has no emotional impact at all. And as for the inserts, they’re just as dull and distracting as anything else he’s done in this regard. Best example – there’s a scene here where Bruno VeSota (and for those of you who don’t know this actor by sight, let me just say that his physique is the polar opposite of that of John Carradine’s) has an endless conversation while receiving a massage. Now, if I were to make a list of things I don’t want to see in a movie, I’m sure that Bruno VeSota getting a massage is one of them; nevertheless, given the choice of trying to make sense of the droning dialogue and concentrating on the massage, I chose the latter.

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