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I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher (Horror Double Feature)

4.4 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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(Oct 04, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Literary classics become screen horror classics when given the Lewton touch. Take the gothic romance of Jane Eyre reset it in the West Indies add the direction of Jacques Tourneur (Cat People) and the overriding terror of the living dead and you have I Walked with a Zombie. Frances Dee plays the nurse who witnesses the strange power of voodoo. Boris Karloff plays the title role in the Lewton adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Body Snatcher directed with subtle calculation by versatile Robert Wise. A doctor (Henry Daniell) needs cadavers for medical studies and Karloff is willing to provide them one way or another. Don't miss his scene with fellow horror icon Bela Lugosi.Running Time: 147 min.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: HORROR UPC: 053939724325

Special Features

  • Commentary by Film Historians Kim Newman and Steve Jones on I Walked with a Zombie
  • Commentary by Director Robert Wise with film historian Steve Haberman on The Body Snatcher
  • Theatrical Trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, James Ellison
  • Directors: Jacques Tourneur, Robert Wise
  • Writers: Ardel Wray, Charlotte Brontë, Curt Siodmak, Inez Wallace, Philip MacDonald
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Turner Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2005
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A0GOFA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,262 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher (Horror Double Feature)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Val Lewton (1904-1951) was brought to RKO when that studio decided to compete with Universal in the horror genre. As it happened, RKO was teetering on the verge of bankruptcy at the time--and Lewton was given the audience-tested title CAT PEOPLE and ordered to create an inexpensive movie to fit it. Without the budget to create "a monster movie," Lewton responded with a series of remarkably artful films that relied on suggestion and implication.

Released in 1943, I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE is considered by many to be Lewton's single best film. Directed by Jacques Tourneur (who also directed Lewton's CAT PEOPLE and LEOPARD MAN), the story concerns nurse Betsy Connell (Frances Dee), who is hired to care for mysterious Jessica Holland (Christine Gordon--and who finds herself romantically torn between the woman's husband Paul (Tom Conway) and his half-brother Holland (James Ellison.) But no sooner does Nurse Connell settle in to the situation than she becomes unsettled by native drums. Is her patient's strange condition the result of voodoo?

Although the film suffers from an occasional plot hole, it is easily one of the most stylish horror films of the 20th century. Like all Lewton films, the direction, performances, and script are low key--but the tone is at once romantic and chilling, a strange tropical melange buttressed by Lewton's remarkable eye for black and white design. While the film print is not pristine, it is reasonably good and probably represents a best-case situation. Unfortunately, the commentary by film historians Kim Newman and Steve Jones tends to be excessively chatty; even so, it can be remarkably informative.

Released in 1945, THE BODY SNATCHER often vies with I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE for critical approval.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A wonderful double-feature DVD featuring two greats from legendary genre producer Val Lewton.



Purportedly based on Charlotte Bronte's novel JANE EYRE, this typically low-key Lewton chiller stars pretty Frances Dee as a Canadian nurse assigned to care for the semi-comatose wife of a plantation owner. Not really a horror film--but fascinating nonetheless--this one's a gloomy yet well-acted melodrama that uses the voodoo-steeped Caribbean island of San Sebastian as a backdrop. Jacques Tourneur's haunting direction, J. Roy Hunt's rich black-and-white cinematography, and Roy Webb's calypso-inspired score create a very otherworldly atmosphere, and actor Darby Jones' portrayal of an emaciated, bug-eyed island native--who may or may not be a zombie--is disturbingly unforgettable.



This literate adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson story stars genre great Boris Karloff as a 19th-century grave robber who turns to murder in order to meet the local med school's quota for cadavers to dissect. Karloff delivers what is arguably one of his best performances, and Bela Lugosi does equally well in a less prominent secondary role. The film is also notable for being one of the first genre directorial efforts from Robert Wise, who would later direct such genre classics as THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951), THE HAUNTING (1963), THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN (1971), and STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1979), as well as some non-genre greats like WEST SIDE STORY (1961) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965).


The double-feature disc from Warner offers both movies their original 1.
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Format: DVD
These are two of Lewton's Classic films, though a wee bit mismatched.

"I Walked with a Zombie" must win the award for the most ridiculous title for a super movie. During a period when screenwriters were on strike they had to keep making movies, so they turned to the classics. In this one they took Jane Eyre and moved it to the tropics and added a sprinkle of Voodoo and came out with a very atmospheric film. Any young film director looking to learn the technique of evocative atmosphere needs to start here. This movie oozes a melancholy ambiance that is more sinister than horror. One my my favourite all time films.

The second, they dusted off and trotted out was a Robert Lewis Stephenson tale about evil-doings in the period of body snatching. A very understated yet menacing Karloff is the sinister body snatcher willing to provide a young doctor the much needed corpses he needs for his medical experiments - even if they are still alive and protesting. It's a very understate film, no sensational acting. Costuming for the period Scotland it's wonderful. Excellent direction from the master Robert Wise.

There are theatrical trailers, it has subtitles in England, French and Spanish (but on the feature films only). Also included are commentary by Film Historians Kim Newman and Steve Jones for Zombie and Steve Haberman for Body Snatcher.

These are two of the very best Lewton films. Not to be missed for the power of each does not lessen with time.
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Format: DVD
Right off the bat I have to admit that there was a moment in 'I Walked With A Zombie' where I found myself on the edge of my seat and biting a ragged chunk from my index fingernail. I would be the first skeptic to say "Yeah, whatever" if someone said that a movie this old could still pack a punch, but 'I Walked With A Zombie' does just that. The story is simple ... city nurse goes to an island where voodoo is the national pastime and finds herself mixing it up with zombies. But when we think of zombies today, we tend to imagine the faster, bloodier, fang-filled versions of more recent movies like 'Shaun of the Dead' and '28 Weeks Later'. Producer Val Lewton's zombies are more classical ... shuffling, bug-eyed undead who relentlessly pursue their victims, even if it takes them days to actually reach them. -- This movie combines excellent production values and intelligent scripting to produce a movie that is as hypnotic and interesting today as it was then. -- And luckily, this set is doubled with 'The Body Snatcher' (arguably, Boris Karloff's greatest role). This movie deals with a doctor and the blackmailing grave robber who provides cadavers for his midnight researches. Karloff comes out of the gate running in this one -- partially chewing the scenery and genuinely giving off creepy vibes. He is all menace in this movie. In a small but excellent turn is Bela Lugosi (like the Kirk/Picard debates, there is argument over who was the king of the horror genre, Lugosi or Karloff. It's Karloff by many many miles, but Lugosi was great, so long as he didn't actually have to carry a picture).Read more ›
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