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Monday, June 27, 2011

White Zombie: 1932

   This film was made during the worst part of the depression by  Victor Halperin and produced by an independent studio.  It was later released by United Artists. The film is called,"White Zombie" and happens to be one of the first (if not the first) zombie movie.  It stars Bela Lugosi as Murder Legendre, a voodoo master.  What you may want to know is that zombies were portrayed as hypnotized servants and not cannibals from beyond the grave.  These zombies are neither dead nor alive.  

   When the film starts we get to see the, "Evil Stare" of Bela Lugosi and if your're a big fan of his work which I know I am, this stare is one of his iconic looks that he brings along in most of his villainous roles.  I found out that this film says it takes place in Haiti which may have been appropriate being that there might have been superstitions about zombies existing in that area.  There is a sort of forcefulness with Murder's performance when bargaining with the owner of the mansion.  He knows that the man will do anything for Madeline, the women that he is in love with, so he, in a way has much more power over him.  I believe that this girl is the owners weakness and Murder knows this.  

   I also find it interesting how Murder gets Madeline under his spell.  The doll of her carved out of wax was very creative and I believe spawned many other techniques for voodoo charms.  Just remember that this was one of the first.  I very much like the performance of the owners struggle to let go of Madeline's ,"death", and you begin to see how much he cared for her.  

In conclusion:  Most if not all of the characters in ,"White Zombie" were forgettable with the exception of Bela Lugosi.  It was as if his performance was holding up the entire film and although I consider him to be one of the greatest horror film actors ever, even with him staring I would pass this film.  I can give the excuse of viewing this purely because of Lugosi's performance.  However if I wanted to watch Bela Lugosi, then I would have watched ,"Dracula".  To add on, there were no action scenes if you could even count the climax as being one and no pay off whatsoever.  After you view this film for yourself and feel differently about my opinion, please tell me what you thought in the comment section below.  Thank you.

3 stars

Live the life surreal,


    Next Review:  Revolt of the Zombies 1936


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