Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Count Dracula made the Hungarian hunk an international star, but vampires were not the only monster up Bela's cape. Immediately following Dracula, Lugosi helped establish the tropes of the walking dead by starring in 1932's White Zombie, the first feature length zombie film. Lugosi plays Haitian sugar mill owner "Murder" Legendre, a satanic Svengali who uses black magic to control an army of zombie workers and make a young bride-to-be his own. Coming at the beginning of the sound era, Lugosi gives one of his best performances and the entire film is smothered in an eerie, nightmarish atmosphere that isn't afraid to let the images do the talking. White Zombie screens at 8 p.m. at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries) as part of Webster Film Series' Strange Brew program. Admission is $5.
Wed., Oct. 2, 2013