Monday, April 13, 2009
A Frank Review of "White Zombie" (1932)
The Short Version? Newlywed bride becomes zombie love slave.
What Is It? Horror.
Who's In It? Bela Lugosi.
Should I See It? No.
What we have here is an historic document: the first ever zombie movie, appearing a year after Lugosi's star turn as Dracula. The sets are grand, especially for an independent production. There's some potent use of superimposed images, the make-up effects are excellent, and the acting is solid. The music and lighting are well above par for the time.
All those accolades aside, watching the movie makes for a damned long hour and change. Unless Lugosi or a zombie is on screen, there is nothing particularly interesting to look at. The film is shot dark and dull, with perfunctory dialogue and a great deal of padding. Scenes start out creepy, then run so long that you become accustomed to the images, like staring at a Halloween mask until all you see is the rubber and glue. Lugosi's wry manner is droll, but also negates any tension generated from his diabolical appearance. A vulture emits a loud "scream" that begins to grate on the nerves by the third attempt at a jump scare. A slew of silly wipes reminds why the technique was relegated to home movies.
There are plenty of nice touches, though. I especially like the moment where Beaumont clutches the villain's hand like an elderly woman desperate to communicate with a dismissive grandchild. Still, you could edit the most worthy elements of the film to a 5-10 minute YouTube presentation and do the public a great service.
If you're interested, you can watch the entire feature below...
- A Frank Review of Film/TV/Performance/Arts (216)
- Anecdotal (16)
- Bantam-Blog (4)
- Comic Box Trot (54)
- Delanopinions (36)
- Dirty Trader: Book/Graphic Novel Reviews (110)
- Emmanu-Wednesday (38)
- Indexes (8)
- Linkypeux (75)
- Meme-O-Scope (39)
- nurghophonic jukebox (73)
- Obscure Character Handbook (17)
- Pepsi Maximum Challenge (4)
- Scripture (3)
- Smelly Brown Paper (Scans of Yore) (173)
- Super-Hero Feast (33)
- The Bedazzler: Arts and Crafts (18)
- The Super-Hero Books (29)
- The Trouble With Super-Heroes (10)
- Toys (1)
- Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care (Comic Reviews) (194)
- ► 2014 (16)
- ► 2013 (37)
- ► 2012 (102)
- ► 2011 (111)
- ► 2010 (136)
- 1991 Tundra Publishing "Violent Cases" Ad
- Emanuelle in America Theme (Instrumental Version)
- DC Challenge #6 (April, 1986)
- A Frank Review of The Monster Squad (1987)
- nurghophonic jukebox: "Bernadette" by The Four Top...
- A Frank Review of "Farinelli: Il Castrato" (1994)
- 1992 Amazing Heroes #202 Jim Lee Sketch
- A Frank Review of True Blood (1989)
- Emanuelle in America (Epilogue, 1977)
- A Frank Review of "Live Free or Die Hard 4.0" (200...
- Scapegoat in Four Colors by Charles Meyerson
- nurghophonic jukebox: "My Girl Bill" by Jim Staffo...
- 1984 First Comics Tim Truman Ad
- A Frank Review of "D.C. Cab" (1983)
- Emanuelle in America (Part 6, 1977)
- Wed. Is Any Day For All I Care #29
- A Frank Review of "White Zombie" (1932)
- A Frank Review of "Across the Universe" (2007)
- DC Challenge #5 (February, 1986)
- 1994 Marvel Comics Pepsi Prisma Cards
- Ruins (1995/2009)
- Emanuelle in America (Part 5, 1977)
- Wed. Is Any Day For All I Care #28
- DC Challenge #4 (2/1986)
- A Frank Review of "Slumdog Millionaire"(2008)
- A Frank Review of "Fidel" (2000)
- 1985 DC Comics Robert Bloch Hell On Earth Adaptati...
- nurgh's Worst. Songs. Ever. #3: "Smoke" by Natalie...
- "The Sand Pebbles" Cast and Crew on Marayat Andria...
- ▼ April (30)
- ► 2008 (333)