The Dead Don't Die

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The Dead Don't Die
Genre Horror
Written by Robert Bloch
Directed by Curtis Harrington
Starring George Hamilton
Linda Cristal
Joan Blondell
Ralph Meeker
James McEachin
Reggie Nalder
Ray Milland
Music by Robert Prince
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Douglas S. Cramer
W.L. Baumes
Producer(s) Henry Colman
Cinematography James Crabe
Editor(s) Ronald J. Fagan
Running time 74 minutes
Production company(s) Douglas S. Cramer Company
Distributor NBC
Original network NBC
Original release January 14, 1975 (1975-01-14)

The Dead Don't Die is a 1975 American made-for-television neo-noir horror thriller film set in the 1930s, directed by Curtis Harrington from a teleplay by Robert Bloch, author of the novel Psycho. Bloch based his teleplay upon his own story of the same title that first appeared in Fantastic Adventures, July 1951. The film originally premiered on NBC on January 14, 1975.

Bloch gives his opinion of the movie in his autobiography, Once Around the Bloch. "The Dead Don't Die. Maybe they don't, but the show did. Despite Curtis's casting of accomplished character actors, their supporting roles couldn't prop up the lead. And Ray Milland, who had given such a deftly paced performance in my script for Home Away from Home, merely plodded through his part here like a zombie without a deadline." [1]


In 1934, Don Drake returns to Chicago after a long sea voyage and discovers that his brother has been convicted of murdering his wife. Drake is unable to save him from the electric chair, but he is convinced of his brother’s innocence and is determined to clear his name. His investigation leads him to the Loveland Ballroom, the scene of the murder, where his brother was involved in a dance marathon run by Jim Moss.

Drake begins seeing his dead brother walking the foggy streets. Drake kills a man named Perdido, who later climbs out of a coffin and attacks him. Police Lieutenant Reardon doesn’t believe Drake’s story, and Reardon later finds Perdido is alive and well. As Drake presses his investigation, he learns of a mystery man named Varrick, whom no one has ever seen and who might be using Haitian voodoo to bring people back from the dead.

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  1. ^ Robert Bloch, Once Around the Bloch: An Unauthorised Autobiography NY: Tor Books, 1993, 363-64.

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