White Zombie (1932)
Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 18
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Release Date: Jan 1, 1932 Wide
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 6,657
In this haunting low-budgeter, Bela Lugosi stars as Murder Legendre, a shadowy character who exercises supernatural powers over the natives in his Haitian domain. Coveting Madge Bellamy as his bride, wealthy Robert Frazier enters into an unholy agreement with Lugosi, whereby Madge will die, then be resurrected as a zombie. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi
Jan 1, 1932 Wide
Jun 29, 1999
United Artists - Official Site
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It leads the viewer inside a fairy tale, not a slaughterhouse; it's expressionistic, not extreme. It affirms the power of the gesture, the shadow, the shudder. In other words: Who needs blood-red cannibalism when you've got a black-and-white Bela Lugosi?
The divinely satanic-looking Bela Lugosi sinks his teeth into his best role since Dracula, a languorous hypnotist and voodoo master who dominates the film with his assured bearing and cruel control.
The supporting cast is awful and the low budget dictates a few moments worthy of MST3K ribbing. But the atmosphere of dread is pungent, the use of sound is inspired, and the makeup by the great Jack Pierce and Carl Axcelle is minimal but effective.
Occasional Ed Wood-like campiness notwithstanding, it established a genre that would rise from the grave whenever the economic state of the cinema age might summon it.
Shines through its own failings; but how much better it would be if it didn't have to, if this minor horror classic were instead an all-time genre masterpiece.
Through its own ravishing simplicity, the film achieves the near-operatic.
Eerie horror classic features Lugosi as zombie leader.
In the end, though, it's Lugosi's zombie master that pulls it altogether and makes it work.
It's Bela. It's a classic. Unfortunately, it's also a dreadful little flick.
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