December 17, 2010

White Zombie (Zombie Classic)

On the fifth day of zombie, my true love gave to me.....

     5 voodoo slaves
                   4 green syringes,
                   3 eye gougings,
                   2-4-5 Trioxin,
                   and a Sumatran rat-monkey.


Director: Victor Halperin
Writers: Garnett Weston
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, and Robert Frazer

SYNOPSIS: In Haiti, a wealthy young man (Frazer) enlists the aid of 'Murder' Legendre, a voodoo witch doctor (Lugosi), to steal away the woman he loves (Bellamy) from her husband, but Legendre fakes her death and returns her to life as a brainwashed zombie for his own personal collection..

BEST LINE: "Before we get through with this thing we may uncover sins that even the devil would be ashamed of."

BEST SCENE: A zombie slave, toiling away in a sugar cane mill with a lifeless stare, stumbles into a bladed grinder. Without a peep, the other zombies toil on completely oblivious.

CLASSIC STATUS: You can't talk about zombie classics without White Zombie, the first feature-length zombie film in history. While it's an incredibly flawed film, time has lent White Zombie more prestige than it received by its contemporaries. In it, we see the seeds of all zombie films to come. Even those that left beyond the zombie's voodoo origins and took up themes of cannibalism, viral infection, and satire owe their existence to White Zombie. Even though White Zombie is not a masterpiece, it is an after the fact classic for setting the stage for the cinematic zombie invasion to come.