In 1936, Warner Brothers threw a curve ball when they mixed one of their patented streetwise gangster movies with a Frankenstein theme. Framed for murder, executed and resurrected by a scientist, Boris Karloff goes looking for his tormentors with a rigor mortis shuffle, a dead-eyed stare and a chillingly soft voice.
The original ad campaign featured superb art deco posters (see below) distinguished by great art, bold colors and beautifully designed titles. Not so with the re-release campaign of 1942, as evident in the crude paste-up job on the vertical insert-type poster (here at left). Karloff’s reanimated man dominates, with x-ray hand, but the face is actually swiped from the 1931 Frankenstein “Monster is Loose!” poster.
Compare the images of the original publicity photograph and its red poster version from 1931, and the yellow variation of the 1942 Walking Dead re-issue. Neck bolts and heavy eyelids have been removed, but the source still very obvious.