White Zombie

1932

Horror

8
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86% · 22 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 58% · 5K ratings
IMDb Rating 6.2/10 10 11714 11.7K

Top cast

Bela Lugosi as 'Murder' Legendre
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
612.98 MB
1280*974
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 6 min
Seeds 4
1.11 GB
1420*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 6 min
Seeds 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by stevebob99 7 / 10

Classic Zombie movie

You have to change your way of looking at movies to really enjoy old horror movies like this one. Don't be in a rush to see action, violence and don't expect to see any bloodshed at all. Most of the grisly part is implied and you have to fill in the details. Instead, watch it for the scenery, the acting and the plot.

I prefer the older horror films to the newer, slash-fest movies because they allow me to think and they generally have a good, moral theme. You never have a good guy as a demon or a fiend, for instance.

White Zombie has the older, traditional zombie characters that are not evil in themselves. Instead, they are mindless and controlled by a shaman, who is generally evil and must be destroyed to set the zombies, who are victims, free. In the newer Zombie movies like Night of the Living Dead, the Zombies are either not controlled or are evil themselves and must be destroyed.

I think the acting by the zombies is very good and so is their make-up (i.e. they have very frightening faces.) Their master, played by Bela Lugosi, is also played masterfully. The missionary is also good, but most of the rest of the cast is only average.

It's a fun movie to watch and I gave it a score of 7 out of 10. If you love early horror movies, buy it. Don't pay more than $10 unless it's packaged with other movies because the picture and the sound quality are weak. If not, you might catch it on a Friday night horror fest on TV. It's worth the time watching it if for Bela Lugosi alone.

Reviewed by underfire35 7 / 10

Explore The Origins Of "The Living Dead"..........

A couple of years ago I saw the 1931 version of Dracula as part of a live performance for the new musical score composed by Philip Glass. Even in this refined setting, the film was met by laughter from the audience during several sections. This seemed rather odd to me, but I suppose older horror films cannot help but lose some of their initial impact over time. The black and white photography and performance techniques became antiquated, hence humorous to some. As time went on, filmmakers begin to spoof the broad overacting and dramatic music of the vintage horror picture. It is impossible today to view a film like WHITE ZOMBIE and fully understand the impact it may have had in 1932. It does, however, escape (for the most part anyway) the mirthful reactions described above.

Director Victor Halprin's telling of this tale is often cited as the genesis of the "zombie picture." There is some debate about this, but WHITE ZOMBIE is certainly one of the early films to deal with the Haitian legend of "the dead that walk." The story revolves around a young couple who have traveled through Haiti to meet with their friend and benefactor Charles Beaumont (Robert Frazer), at whose villa they plan to be married. He has designs on the young bride, Madeleine (Madge Bellamy), and enlists the help of Murder Legendre (the name kind of says it all) played by Bela Lugosi. After the wedding, Legendre performs some "witchcraft" rituals and Madeleine falls into a death-like state. Believing that she has in fact died, the newly minted groom (John Harron) spirals into a drunken maelstrom, eventually seeking out the learned missionary Dr. Bruner (Joseph Cawthorn) to help solve the mystery. All paths seem to lead back to Legendre as the plot thickens and Beaumont's true motives are discovered.

It is fascinating to watch these type of films, some of which, like WHITE ZOMBIE age well with time. This is partly due to the fact that it has been largely forgotten in the wake of the more successful Universal horror flicks. The main drawn here will be the performance by Lugosi. He essentially "vamps" his role in Dracula, but manages to fashion a fairly distinct and unsettling screen presence. It would be roles like this however that would lead to his rigid typecasting; as time went on, he was all but discarded by the film industry (see ED WOOD [1994] for his later years). Halprin's direction focuses on atmosphere and gloom. He is well paired with cinematographer Arthur Martinelli and together they create a suitably shadow-laden backdrop for this macabre story. WHITE ZOMBIE is ambitious in camera angles and editing. At one point there is a diagonal wipe edit, which stops midscreen to reveal the actions of two separate characters. This type of effect is effortless to achieve now, but must have been laborious in 1932. Observe also the unusually large transitional set of the plantation interior, or the framing of Lugosi though the ornate stone work during certain shots. These small details help set WHITE ZOMBIE apart by creating a realistic environment and aid in visually representing the pathology of the characters.

Since the 30's there has been countless movies about killer zombies run amuck. The concept predominantly became fodder for B-grade schlock productions. The genre would experience something of a renaissance in 1968 with George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD which created quite a stir at the time and resulted in zombies becoming, once again, fashionable. The Haitian setting of WHITE ZOMBIE would also be revisited in THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1988) and the "undead" as a means of cheap labor subtext would be exploited for darkly comedic effect in the underrated HBO film CAST A DEADLY SPELL (1991). In recent years, there has been such a boom of these "living dead" productions that it is hard to keep track of them all. WHITE ZOMBIE, as an early example of this current trend, but should be seen as more than just a footnote in the ever growing history of film. It is not a great movie, like Dracula, but will prove to be of interest to film buffs at least. It has more to offer, though, and I hope that it will continue to be rediscovered by successive generations. 7/10

Reviewed by JoeKarlosi 7 / 10

Pretty good, but Lugosi is great **1/2

I'm a big Bela Lugosi fan, as well as a sucker for '30s and '40s horror chestnuts in general. But no matter how many times I watch WHITE ZOMBIE, I'm just always a bit short of considering it a "good" movie. Lugosi is delightfully weird and mysterious as Murder Legendre, a sinister zombie master who commands a legion of Walking Dead, and who grants a favor to a jealous man by helping him possess the woman he yearns for -- by turning her into a mindless zombie!

The surroundings are purely macabre and unsettling. But despite these assets, something goes astray in the snail-like pacing. Some of the acting is hopelessly dated and exaggerated, most notably by con man Robert Frazer and, to a lesser extent, hero John Harron. It's interesting that Lugosi - who's often lambasted by critics for overdoing it himself - is perfectly "on," however.

WHITE ZOMBIE is still a "pretty good" horror movie in its own right for such a minor production. But it's not a film I would recommend to those younger viewers who tend to feel bored by older classic films.

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