22 October 2014

White Zombie (1932)
69 min.
Directed by Victor Halperin.
With Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn, Robert Frazer, John Harron, Brandon Hurst, Clarence Muse.
With an intertwining clasp of his hands, Lugosi becomes Murder Legendre - master of the undead - in this atmospheric 1932 zombie chiller.

Promised a new beginning in life, young lovers Neil (Harron) and Madeleine (Bellamy) arrive in Haiti and are greeted by their mysterious benefactor Beaumont (Frazer).

But Beaumont has fallen in love with Madeleine and decides to enlist the aid of creepy Legendre to make the gal his own.

Seems Legendre has a way of 'transforming' those alive into obedient and complacent servants...namely, by killing them and then raising them from the dead as living zombies!

Soon, Beaumont possesses Madeleine as his new love, his own 'white zombie.' But at what price love?

The first true zombie pic, this low budgeter is an eerie collage of dreamlike imagery and moody vibes. Lugosi commands attention as Murder and turns in another memorable genre performance.

Best scene: a drugged Beaumont watches helplessly as Murder prepares to turn him into one of his undead minions.

A must see, but avoid any computer colorized version.

Director Halperin would go on to helm several other '30s horrors, including Supernatural (1933) starring Carole Lombard, and another undead flick, Revolt of the Zombies (1936).

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