Sunday, February 22, 2015

White Zombie (1932)

An American horror directed by Victor Halperin, starring Bela Lugosi.
Invited by a wealthy friend, a man and his fiancee go to Haiti for a pre-honeymoon. Before the marriage can take place, the woman is turned into a zombie by a magician at the request of the "friend". This wealthy man wants the woman for himself, but is disappointed with the results. A pipe smoking priest who never carries matches helps the would-be groom to retrieve his fiancee.
I've heard of films getting mixed reviews before, but this one demonstrates that far better than others. Some people think it's atmospheric, while others say the acting sucks and it was sloppily made. Both are true. There was some good camera-work that included wide angles of cool scenes (picture). The sound was wretched, as demonstrated by the bloodcurdling screams of a bird and annoying native chants. I liked how the rich sub-villain gets what he asked for, but has buyer's remorse over the girl being in a zombified state that is useless to him. Bela Lugosi's "zombie grip" was unimpressive and overemphasized. Overall, it was a crappy movie with some shots that looked alright. I rate it poor.

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