Appalachina Media Archives presents

Film On Film: White Zombie

Directed by
Victor Halperin

Join us for the latest installment of our 16mm Film On Film series, presented by Bradley Reeves of Appalachian Media Archives! This month’s selection is a Bela Lugosi chiller capitalizing on Haitian “zombie” traditions, decades before the term became part of the horror mainstream.

Murder Legendre (Bela Lugosi) is the menacingly named zombie master of Haiti. So it’s to him that Charles Beaumont (Robert Frazer) goes when he needs help for a twisted plan. Spurned in marriage by Madeline Short (Madge Bellamy), Beaumont has decided on a simple solution: kill Short and bring her back as a zombie. Then she can be his forever. The only problem comes when Legendre keeps the fetching girl for himself — and her new husband (John Harron) comes to Madeline’s rescue.

“It leads the viewer inside a fairy tale, not a slaughterhouse; it’s expressionistic, not extreme. It affirms the power of the gesture, the shadow, the shudder. In other words: Who needs blood-red cannibalism when you’ve got a black-and-white Bela Lugosi?” – Memphis Commercial Appeal

• Rated

Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn