SHOCK! TERROR! THE TRUTH REVEALED AT LAST!
Hey hey. Yeah, I'm late again today, so what's it to you?
As we count down to the Halloween season (only 53 days left!), I find myself longing for the changing leaves, the crisp air, the blazing October sunsets, and - yes of course - the great fun the season brings. My annual party, of course, and a few orchard visits, and let's not forget those great Halloween Hayrides our area has! Yes, I am planning on cramming the fun in this year, since last year's rainy weekends robbed me of my autumn funtime.
And the reason for my joy this season? The pressure cooker this damn movie thing is putting me under! Classics like tonight's flick, 1932's "White Zombie!" Read on, ravers!
White Zombie (1932): Directed by Victor Halperin. Starring Bela Lugosi, Madge Belamy and Joseph Cawthorne.
The Skinny: In this black and white classic, Bela Lugosi stars as a white voodoo master with a cadre of zombies working his sugar plantation. When a man secretly wants to turn his paramour into a zombie, the plan spins out of control and he finds himself in a battle for her very soul!
What's Good: For it to spawn the name of a classic 90s metal band, the movie HAS to be good, right? Meh, it's okay really. I mean, the best thing about the film - and I think any movie critic would agree - is the visuals. There is a long hypnotic shot of zombies walking in a circle as they toil at the wheel of a mill that is just utterly captivating. Add to that Lugosi's inimitable presence and a brilliant (and memorable) score and it is an atmospheric masterpiece.
What's Bad: Unfortunately, that atmosphere is sometimes shattered by hammy acting and so-so dialogue. And also, most copies of the film out there are not-so-good transfers because the film was lost for many years and - if I am not mistaken - it is also currently in the Public Domain.
Why We Like It: No question here - I love just about any Lugosi film. The man was truly underrated and it's a shame he was typecast as a result of his greatest film, "Dracula." And in this film, without much to say that interesting, there's lots of those great piercing stares Lugosi can give, not to mention some terrific eyebrow play.
Memorable Stuff: The aforementioned scene with the zombies at the wheel is the best thing I can recall - in fact it's used a few times in the movie if I remember correctly. There's also a great shot of Lugosi laying down some hand-jive and those stares as he works his mojo on an unsuspecting Madge Bellamy. Spooky stuff!