White Zombie with Bela Lugosi

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The following is my review of White Zombie with Bela Lugosi. This film was the first ever of it’s kind to introduce us to the topic of Zombie’s…and the perfect vehicle for it’s lead actor following his success as Dracula the previous year…

 

White Zombie with Bela Lugosi

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn

Directed by: Victor Halperin

Ratings: Internet Movie Data Base; 6.5/10 …Rotten Tomatoes; 89%

Our rating; 8/10

Available from: Amazon and eBay

 

 

 

 

51OTTy-9EaL__SY355_White Zombie (1932). A young couple are on their way to be married at the home of a wealthy plantation owner in Haiti. Their host (Monsieur Beaumont), who has invited them along, has some sinister plans for the bride-to-be however and enlists the help of zombie master, “Murder Legendre” (Bela Lugosi) to make the woman all his own.

 Yet Murder has some plans of his own for Monsieur Beaumont and his new mistress.

It’s up to the girl’s unfortunate fiancé with the aid of a kind and learned priest to hasten to her rescue at the cliff-side castle of the fiendish “Murder”. Once there they must confront the evil and cunning ruler of zombies and his collection of zombie slaves.

 

Zombie Debut!

 

While the picture and sound quality are fairly poor, the sets, scenes and scenery, dialogue and music all add up to make this movie immensely interesting and atmospheric.

A lot of the scenes will stay with you long after you’ve watched it.

The burial in the road for example. Our first introduction to “Zombies” and the way the coach driver declares their approach. The mindless goings on at the sugar mill. Lugosi’s discourse on the slaves who were once his enemies. And, of coarse, the entire ordeal at the castle.


 

A much welcomed side to this movie is it’s music. An element which was not yet used anywhere near it’s potential to that point. It’s also nice to notice how it is created for the movie and not merely borrowed from somewhere else. It really ends up fitting with and illustrating the emotion of some of the scenes.

Themes of Voodoo are creatively used through the movie and the whole plot taking place in Haiti (“land of the voodoo”), rightly adds to it’s atmosphere.

A fantastic original and imaginative film that makes the absolute most of it’s small budget. The subject material was completely new for moviegoers then and it’s not only Lugosi but also his freakish zombie crew which are highly memorable.

 

White Zombie with Bela Lugosi 1932

Lugosi and his Zombie henchman in White Zombie

 

 

…While not gaining a hugely favourable critical response at the time of release, this highly underrated piece has gone on to become something of a cult classic! 

 

 

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Any thoughts on this review of White Zombie with Bela Lugosi? Please go ahead and post your comments in the space below.  Thanks for reading. ∼ Jamie

 

 

Available Here From Amazon and eBay

 

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6 Comments

  • Andrew says:

    Thank you for introducing me to this film. Your write up of the film is very well written and I must say I really enjoyed watching the trailer for White Zombie too. For me the best part of the trailer is the voice narration over the top of the video, truly brilliant.

    • admin says:

      Thanks very much for that Andrew! A pleasure to introduce someone to this personal favorite! The trailer was what got me in too originally! I found the narration somehow funny after about 20 viewings lolol.

      This truly is a unique gem of a film. Hope you get to check it out soon. Bela Lugosi’s name in the film is “Murder” Legendre! Cool hey? Lolol.

      Thanks for visiting! Jamie

  • Barrack says:

    Wow…i love horror movies a lot. How comes i have never come across these movies? Maybe because i concentrate on series a lot. But now you have brought me to light and i cant wait to go to the movie store. The truth is i would have loved to read more…please post more of these movies

  • Win Back Your Ex Comments says:

    AAhh i love these old horror movies. I really enjoyed them when i was younger and can still picture myself sat with my father on a school night watching them and going to bed terrified.

    I know modern programs reach a fair bigger audience because of special effects and make up (such as The Walking Dead) but these old classics should never be forgotten.

    Thanks for the read, brought back some nice memories.

    Chris

    • admin says:

      Very glad to have had you visit Chris. I definitely agree, these classics should never be forgotten!

      Thanks for commenting mate.

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