I Walked with a Zombie fails to measure up to the horrific title. Film contains some terrifying passages, but is overcrowded with trite dialog and ponderous acting.
Scripters haven’t particularly improved the Inez Wallace original [story], which hinges on the premise that West Indies voodoo priests actually can produce a ‘zombie,’ a live person unable to speak, hear or feel. Weird yarn has two half-brothers competing for the love of a girl, married to one of the pair, and their mother employing voodooism to turn the girl into a robot-like existence.
With few exceptions, cast walks through the picture almost as dazed as the zombies. James Ellison makes a loud but totally ineffective ‘bad’ brother. Frances Dee, as a comely nurse, tries to make sense in the inanimate proceedings. Tom Conway is terrifically British as the righteous brother, but inexcusably dull most of the time.
I Walked with a Zombie
RKO. Director Jacques Tourneur; Producer Val Lewton; Screenplay Curt Siodmak, Ardel Wray; Camera J. Roy Hunt; Editor Mark Robson; Music Roy Webb; Art Director Albert S. D'Agostino, Walter E. Keller
(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1943. Running time: 69 MIN.
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