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T500FC, 454th: I Walked With A Zombie (Jacques Tourneur, 1943)

March.8.2011

Before we are bombarded by the zombies that we see right now, often portrayed by flesh-eating individuals that looks almost exactly what vampires do to procreate, we have here a very different form of how zombies was depicted before, the pre-Night Of The Living Dead era. This is the one where we typically used the status of “zombies” to our friends and relatives who looks like they are preoccupied with nothing.

I am a sure-fire zombie fan. Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland, Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive, and George Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead are few zombie films I appreciate and love; much more, of course, to the Marvel Zombie storyline provided by Marvel Comics.

Now, this film tells us the story of a nurse who takes care of a “zombie’d” wife of a man who owns a plantation in the Caribbean. The island filled with African-American slaves, slightly gives clues, on what really happens on the island. One instance was when the man’s cousin dates the nurse and the eerie feeling was presented by an African American’s song, telling the story of the nurse and her relationship with the cousin and the couple who owns the farm. With the nurse’s great sense of inquisitive behavior, she investigates the real reason of such occurrence in the island.

I had fun following the so-called misadventures of the nurse in this film. It gave me a different sense of suspense and horror combined. Though the scenes didn’t really tingle my “I am scared” button, I was slightly engaged with what was happening in the film, although it was a bit blurry for me on what seemed to be the climax of the film, it was still satisfying to see such.

I know such plot has been used and worked on by directors not just in movies but also in television, a different re-telling of zombies and the cause was still amusing for me. It also feels that it can scare the children; it was sort of chilling, with its scary noir in effect, if ever there was such a term.

If I remember it correctly, I think there’s an X-file episode that paid homage to this. True or not, it doesn’t really matter, Jacques Tourneur, the director, effectively sold the film to the audience. And I liked it.

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