Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
On the island of Haiti, a young couple, Madeline (Madge Bellamy) and Neil (John Harron) look forward to being married. They’ve been persuaded by Charles (Robert Frazer) to have the wedding at his house. While on the way there, they are approached in their carriage by a strange man, who seems taken with Madeline, and even goes so far as to take her long white scarf before they can elude his grasp. Little do they realize he is “Murder” Legendre (Bela Lugosi), a local business owner.
The couple is further disturbed by tales of zombies on the island – the living undead. Once arrived at Charles’ house, it quickly becomes apparent that he is very taken with Madeline, and spends most of his time trying to persuade her to marry him instead. But she is adamant that she won’t and to stop being silly. A desperate Charles approaches Legendre who is responsible for the zombies who work under him. Together they hatch a diabolical plan to separate the young couple. And it works, for on their wedding night, the young bride suddenly and mysteriously dies.
This is a little known gem from 1932 starring the incomparable Bela Lugosi. It’s actually quite well
done, and from what I read, it’s speculated that Lugosi directed some if not all of the film. It’s not very long, not much over an hour, but it says a lot in a short period of time.
Bela is as charming and hypnotic as ever. The film says a lot with little dialogue, almost like a silent movie with a few lines added here and there. Whoever directed, whether Lugosi or not, did a good job in this zombie film made long before the Walking Dead. I’ll give this film 4.5 Stars.