I Walked with a Zombie/the Body Snatcher

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Overview

RKO producer Val Lewton seemed to thrive upon taking the most lurid film titles and coming up with pocket-edition works of art. Saddled with the studio-dictated title I Walked With a Zombie, Lewton, together with scripters Curt Siodmak and Ardel Wray, concocted a West Indies variation on Jane Eyre. Trained nurse (Frances Dee) travels to the tropics to care for Christine Gordon, the wife of seemingly abusive Tom Conway. At first, Dee merely believes her patient to be comatose. But as the drums throb and the ...
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Overview

RKO producer Val Lewton seemed to thrive upon taking the most lurid film titles and coming up with pocket-edition works of art. Saddled with the studio-dictated title I Walked With a Zombie, Lewton, together with scripters Curt Siodmak and Ardel Wray, concocted a West Indies variation on Jane Eyre. Trained nurse (Frances Dee) travels to the tropics to care for Christine Gordon, the wife of seemingly abusive Tom Conway. At first, Dee merely believes her patient to be comatose. But as the drums throb and the natives behave restlessly, Dee tries to bring her patient back to life by jungle magic. Conway is racked with guilt, believing himself responsible for his wife's condition; his guilt is stoked by Conway's drunken brother James Ellison, who has always loved Gordon. Utilizing very limited sets and only a handful of extras, director Jacques Tourneur manages to evoke an impression of an expansive tropical island populated at every turn by voodoo worshippers. Many of the sequences, notably Frances Dee's first languid stroll into the midst of the native ceremonies, have an eerie dream-like quality that pervades even the most worn-out, badly processed TV prints of I Walked With Zombie.

Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi were given top billing in the Val Lewton-produced The Body Snatcher, but the film's protagonist is played by Henry Daniell. A brilliant 18th century London surgeon, Daniell can only make his humanitarian medical advances by experimenting on cadavers, which is strictly illegal. Karloff plays a Uriah Heep-type cabman who is secretly a grave robber, providing corpses for Daniell's research. The low-born Karloff enjoys blackmailing the aristocratic Daniell into silence; the two actors' cat-and-mouse scenes are among the film's highlights. Eventually, Karloff turns to murder to supply fresh bodies to Daniell. The doctor can stand no more of this, and kills Karloff. But though Daniell may be able to escape the law, he cannot escape his conscience, which manifests itself in the voice of the dead Karloff, whose repeated mantra "NEVER get rid of me! NEVER get rid of me!" drives Daniell to his death. Though billed second, Lugosi has an embarrassingly small part, though the scene he shares with Karloff is one of his best-ever screen moments. The Body Snatcher was based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson, which in turn was inspired by the homicidal career of notorious grave-robbers Burke and Hare.

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Special Features

Commentary by film historians Kim Newman and Steve Jones on I Walked With a Zombie and film historian Steve Haberman with director Robert Wise on The Body Snatcher
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/4/2005
  • UPC: 053939724325
  • Rating:

  • Source: Turner Home Ent
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 2:26:00
  • Format: DVD

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- I Walked With a Zombie/The Body Snatcher
1. Credits [:59]
2. No Beauty Here [3:08]
3. Fort Holland [4:54]
4. Woman in White [5:08]
5. A Zombie [4:58]
6. Words as Weapons [4:21]
7. Mrs. Rand [1:42]
8. Brothers at Odds [2:40]
9. Love Revealed [2:35]
10. Noble and Other Feelings [2:25]
11. Better Doctors? [3:22]
12. Walk to the Homefort [4:03]
13. Dance Fever [2:47]
14. Behind the Door [3:14]
15. Trouble Ahead [5:18]
16. Carrefour Comes [4:35]
17. Mrs. Rand's Admission [4:43]
18. Wesley's Request [3:19]
19. Freeing Jessica [2:49]
20. Secrets of All Hearts [1:28]
1. Credits [1:22]
2. Watch Sharp [3:10]
3. Georgina's Case [5:16]
4. New Assistant [1:26]
5. Meeting Gray [5:15]
6. Dead and Unburied [5:24]
7. Best Man for the Job [3:58]
8. Awaiting the White House [2:13]
9. Out of the Question [3:08]
10. Fettes' Request [2:36]
11. Stilled Song [3:27]
12. Party to Murder [1:47]
13. The Operation [1:26]
14. End of Business! [2:14]
15. Immovable [2:11]
16. A Fool and No Doctor [3:14]
17. Burkeing Joseph [5:36]
18. Gift You'll Not Refuse [3:34]
19. Shame of the Old Ways [3:24]
20. Gray's Pleasure [2:45]
21. Rid of Him [3:19]
22. The Child Walks [3:57]
23. One More Body [2:16]
24. Never Get Rid of Me [4:53]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- I Walked With a Zombie/The Body Snatcher
   I Walked With a Zombie
      Play Movie
      Scene Selections
      Special Features
         Commentary by Kim Newman and Steve Jones
         Theatrical Trailer
      Languages
         English
         English Subtitles
         Français Subtitles
         Español Subtitles
         Subtitles Off
   The Body Snatcher
      Play Movie
      Scene Selections
      Special Features
         Commentary by Steve Haberman With Robert Wise
         Theatrical Trailer
      Languages
         English
         English Subtitles
         Français Subtitles
         Español Subtitles
         Subtitles Off
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Classic horror!

    "I Walked With a Zombie" has been described as "Jane Eyre" meets zombies, and that¿s kind of accurate. But the atmosphere and chilling voodoo elements make this classic a force to be reckoned with. "The Body Snatcher" is skippable, but buy this for the zombie flick! It's not a traditional zombie film, but still, this is eerie and beautiful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews