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White Zombie Blu-ray

United States
Kino Video | 1932 | 1 Movie, 2 Cuts | 69 min | Unrated | Jan 29, 2013

White Zombie (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.32:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Audio
English: LPCM 2.0

Subtitles
None

Discs
25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region A, B (C untested)

Price
List price: $29.95, Price history
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
6.7
18
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 2.2 of 52.2
Audio 2.8 of 52.8
Extras 2.5 of 52.5
Based on 1 user review

Movie appeal

 
Horror100%
31%
popularity
178
collections
15
fans




White Zombie

 (1932)

White Zombie Blu-ray offers decent video and audio in this still enjoyable Blu-ray release

While traveling to New York, the young couple Madeleine Short Parker and her fiancé Neil Parker are convinced by their new acquaintance Charles Beaumont to stay in Port Prince and get married in his mansion. However, Beaumont felt in love for Madeleine and his real intention is to convince her to call off the wedding. When he realizes that the time is too short to seduce her, he visits the local warlock Legendre (Bela Lugosi) , who gives him a drug to transform Madeleine into a zombie. She dies immediately after the wedding, and her corpse is disputed by Beaumont and his sick love for her; Legendre, that wants her for his team of zombies; and Neil, who is convinced by the local missionary Dr. Bruner that she might be alive. In the end, true love wins...?

For more about White Zombie and the White Zombie Blu-ray release, see White Zombie Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn, Robert Frazer, John Harron, Brandon Hurst
Director: Victor Halperin

» See full cast & crew


White Zombie Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.0 of 5

This release is interesting, particularly in regard to the film purism versus noise reduction debate. Kino's Blu-ray release of White Zombie includes two complete versions of the film, both mastered from a 35mm negative—with two or three missing scenes taken from a 16mm print of slightly, but noticeably inferior quality—and both presented in 1080p/AVC. However, one is "digitally enhanced" and the other is presented "raw." The disc defaults to the former, which is absolutely slathered with DNR, removing all grain from the image, softening print damage like scratches and debris, but—in the process—stripping the picture entirely of fine detail. The result is a film that no longer looks like film; it looks more like someone ran each frame through the "brush strokes" filter in Photoshop, turning the film into a kind of moving painting. The effect is apparent even from a distance— especially if you have a large screen—but up close it's atrocious. If this were the only version included on the disc, I'd be doling out some seriously low marks right about now.

Fortunately, you can find the "raw" transfer as an option in the extras menu. Here, grain is wholly untouched, and although the print is very noisy—and the print damage more visible—this version at least looks natural and filmic. It's also drastically better than previous standard definition releases, which—given that the film is in the public domain—were typically of less-than-stellar quality, turned out quickly in cheapo editions. Produced by Holland Releasing, Kino's version has much better refined detail—see the closeups of Lugosi's eyes, in particular—and balanced, more stable contrast. The "raw" version does seem slightly more dim than the digitally tweaked version, however. As far as I'm concerned, this is now the definitive transfer of White Zombie, and it's a shame that it's hidden in the extras. Do note that the "raw" cut is approximately one minute shorter, although I've yet to determine exactly which scenes were trimmed or cut. I didn't sense anything missing.

Screenshots 1-10 are from the "raw" print, and 11-20 from the "digitally enhanced" version.


White Zombie Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.0 of 5

Both version of the film feature an uncompressed Linear PCM 2.0 track—presumably mono—and the quality is typical for a low-budget horror feature that's now 80 years old. That is, you can expect plenty of audio damage, some barely noticeable, some jarring and/or abrasive. While it's clear that some work has been put into attenuating pops, crackles, and hisses, they're still here in varying levels of intensity, along with moments of high-end harshness in the music and sudden, complete dropouts in a few scenes, where bits of dialogue go missing. Distracting? A bit, but none of this renders the film unlistenable, especially if you're already used to watching movies from the early sound era. Given the condition of the source materials, the audio is probably as good as it's ever going to be, and in general the dialogue is moderately clear and easy to follow. Some subtitles would help, but Kino has neglected to include any—my only real complaint.


White Zombie: Other Editions



1-disc
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This Week on Blu-ray: January 29-February 5 - January 27, 2013

For the week of January 29th, Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment brings Paranormal Activity 4 to Blu-ray. Since the release of the first Paranormal Activity in 2009, the franchise has cemented its position as horror cinema's most dependable fright distributor, ...

Kino Lorber's January 2013 Slate - October 8, 2012

Independent film distributor Kino Lorber has issued its Blu-ray slate for January 2013. Releases are arranged through Kino Classics, Kino Lorber, Horizon Movies, and the Jesebel sublabel. Kino Lorber will release films by Victor Halperin, Martin Campbell, and ...


White Zombie Blu-ray, Forum Discussions



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