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Directed by Victor Halperin

United States 1932 68 mins.

I Walked With A Zombie, Night of the Living Dead, and countless other films trace their lineage back to White Zombie, widely regarded as the first zombie movie. The film is dominated by Bela Lugosi’s compelling performance as a Haitian voodoo master who uses a combination of magic potions and mind control to turn natives into docile slave workers for his sugar mill…and to impose his will upon a comely visitor (Madge Bellamy). A low-budget independent production, White Zombie cannily transcends its financial restraints with sets recycled from Dracula and Frankenstein as well as a robust soundtrack of chanting natives, screeching buzzards, and, above all, the creaking, groaning machinery of the sugar mill.

Preservation funding provided by the Packard Humanities Institute. 

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.