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White Zombie [Blu-ray] [1932] [US Import]

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Product details

  • Actors: Bela Lugosi, Robert Frazer, Joseph Cawthorn, John Harron
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Jan 2013
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009KG7ESG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,029 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 24 Feb 2013
Format: Blu-ray
NB: As is Amazon's Wont, they've very unhelpfully bundled all the reviews for various editions and formats together. This review refers to Kino's 2013 Blu-ray release and also refers to the Roan Group's NTSC DVD.

At times superbly directed by Victor Halperin with imaginative use of shadows and light and blessed with what may well be Bela Lugosi's best screen performance as the wonderfully named Murder Legendre, White Zombie, although a bit creaky in places, is still one of the very best of the Thirties cycle of horror films that followed Universal's success with Lugosi's Dracula and Frankenstein the previous year. While most of the supporting players are a bit insipid, to put it generously, Bela has more than enough personality to make up for them as the sorcerer who turns his worst enemies into mindless zombies to serve his whims and who hires out his expertise to lovesick plantation owner and Harry Houdini-lookalike Robert Frazer to steal Madge Bellamy from her true love John Harron, only to decide he'd rather like to add her to his own collection.

It's a film full of wonderfully atmospheric moments, from its opening with a midnight burial at a crossroads which sets the eerie tone for the rest of the film to its climax in a gothic cliff top mansion inhabited solely by Lugosi and his living dead slaves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The BlackFerret on 7 July 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Within a year of becoming the screen's first and still-best Dracula, Bela Lugosi was starring in this "epic" for The Halperin Brothers. Don't ask who they were-long ago forgotten!!

So is this film, and that's one mistake you can swiftly rectify by buying it. You won't find another quite like it.

Only 5 years after sound films had started I know, but there are some fairly wobbly bits of recording. As for the soundtrack, that is even scratchier, off 78's!

But this only adds to the atmosphere. The eerie, low-lit photography is quite astounding and completely at one with the studio backdrops. God knows where Haiti was actually recreated, but it's convincingly chilling even if it was Poverty Row, LA!

The soundtrack is actually parts of Schubert's Unfinished symphony, parts of other half-recognisable classical pieces, plus a bit of refrains or variations based on what's gone before. In any other context, you'd probably rush to sell it on e-bay or here, but it really is compelling stuff alongside Bela!

And it is Mr Lugosi who makes it, finally. All I will say is that the hero is daft enough to put into Port-au-Prince with his fiancee to stay with another single bloke they met on the boat to New York, and his fiancee is daft enough to stand around in her underwear by the shuttered window listening to native drums!

That is quite enough encouragement for Murder Legendre,sugar-mill owner and interesting second occupation, to run amok. And Bela Lugosi was never better than when he did that.

Well, this film really is an one-off. It's stood repeated viewings on VHS and is now doing the same on DVD. It's a real treasure, and a compelling entertainment.

All I can finally do, to encourage a purchase(I'm not selling it, by the way!)is to quote Mr Lugosi's final words:-

"For you, my frend, they are the Angels of Death"

So now you know where that came from,too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 23 Jun 2004
Format: DVD
In many ways this first zombie movie is the last film in the baroque horror tradition of the silent films. This 1932 film directed by Victor Halperin was made for practically nothing even though it starred Bela Lugosi as "Murder" Legendre, in his first role after making a smash in "Dracula." Lugosi, who apparently directed some of the retakes as well, plays the master of a different type of undead down in Haiti.
In "White Zombie," Monsieur Beaumont (Robert Frazer) convinces a young couple, Madeleine Short (Madge Bellamy) and Neil Parker (John Harron) to get married on his Haitian plantation. Amazingly enough, he does this so that he can convince Madeline to run away with him. Needing help, Beaumont turns to Legendre, who runs his mill with zombie workers. Beaumont uses Legendre's zombie potion to bend Madeleine to his will, but then is dissatisfied with her soulless husk and wants her turned back. Instead, Legendre turns Beaumont into a zombie as well. Meanwhile, Neil is convinced by a local priest that maybe he is not a widow after all.
"White Zombie" never really frightens its audience, but instead sustains a high level of downright eeriness throughout, achieving its effect by taking such simple objects as the scarf used to wrap a voodoo doll or a rose containing poison and making them important elements in Lugosi's evil machinations. This film might be a talkie, but its sensibilities are those of the silent era and since it begins the tradition of zombies in the movies that continues down to "Night of the Living Dead" and other light hearted fare makes it at least an interesting footnote in the history of horror films.
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