White Zombie from 1932 is a great movie that I have personal watched over and over again. Now this is not a movie for everyone but for those of us that love the old monster and black and whites it’s a classic.
Young wealth man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he falls loves away from her fiancé, but instead the witch doctor turns her into a zombie slave.
“White Zombie” was actually the play “Zombie” which opened in New York February, 1932. The author, Kenneth S. Webb, sued Edward Halperin and Victor Halperin (film’s producers) for the movie, the judge on the case voted in The Halperins favoured.
The film was shot in only eleven days, completed March 1932.
Opening credits has a voodoo chanting that play in the background is just a sample in the song “El Imperio del Mal” by the Spanish rock band Migala.
The film was thought lost until it was rediscovery in in the 60s. Another court battle was fought between film distributor Frank Storace and the estate of Stanley Krellberg, the copyright owner of the film.
Storace wanted to reproduce a restored version of the film but the estate refused him access to the original footage in their possession. In the end Storace gave up the court battle. Therefore he did not win the access to the original footage.
‘Murder’ Legendre – Bela Lugosi
Madeline – Madge Bellamy
Dr. Bruner – Joseph Cawthorn
Charles Beaumont – Robert Frazer
John Harron – Neil Parker
Brandon Hurst – Silver
Von Gelder, Zombie – George Burr Macannan
Chauvin, Zombie – Frederick Peters
Maid – Annette Stone
Ledot, Zombie – John Printz
Pierre, Witch Doctor – Dan Crimmins
Zombie – Claude Morgan
Zombie – John Fergusson
Okay, so my favourite thing about this movie is how ‘zombies’ are seen as in the movie and the atmosphere.
Did you know that the singer Rob Zombie named his first heavy metal band, White Zombie, after this movie.
Little things I noticed:
When the Madeline sees Legendre’s face in her wine, she begins to set the glass down with both hands, she is mostly using her left.
In the next shot though her right hand is holding the cup and her left is on the table.
When she is removed from the crypt, the pallbearer zombies carry her open casket head first. Cut to the procession going up the hill outside the crypt, she is now feet first.
Revealing mistakes I noticed:
Parker drunkenly staggers to Madeleine’s crypt through the graveyard, he grabs a tombstone in passing. The tombstone wiggles a bit.
Also when butler is being thrown into bubbling water by the zombies, he holds his nose as he goes in, while he is supposed to be paralyzed.
Little History of Zombies:
Zombies in “White Zombie” are animated corpse that are raised by witchcraft.
The term zombie can also be applied to describe a hypnotized person bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, however ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli.
As in the late 19th century, zombies have acquired notable popularity, particularly in North American and European folklore.
Though in modern times, the term “zombie” has been attached to an undead being in horror fiction, this is often drawn from the representation of zombies in George A. Romero’s 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead”.
Zombies have appeared as plot devices in various books, films, television shows, video games and comics.