This remake of West of Zanzibar (1928) made four years later tries to outdo the Lon Chaney original in morbidity. From a wheelchair a handicapped white man rules an area of Africa as a ... See full summary »
This remake of West of Zanzibar (1928) made four years later tries to outdo the Lon Chaney original in morbidity. From a wheelchair a handicapped white man rules an area of Africa as a living god. He rules the local natives through superstition and stage magic and he rules the few white people through sadism, keeping them virtual prisoners. He lives for the day he can avenge himself horribly on the man who stole his wife and crushed his spine. Strong and macabre stuff in a nearly forgotten horror film. Written by
Mark Leeper <email@example.com>
[Tula has just given a drink of "gin" to a tribal chieftain; he refuses to return the bottle]
I hate to see good gin wasted on a dried-up monkey like that.
That's not gin I gave him - - that's kerosene.
[Cookie and Tula look at the chief, happily drinking the "gin," and both giggle]
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The acting was so avant-garde for a 1932 version, I had to go back to the schedule twice to make sure it was filmed in the early days. I've seen Emmy-winning 1999 TV soaps that didn't have the shine the soapy scenes here have. Lupe Velez was, to me, a very untalented stock actress until I watched her in this tropical human-condition story. She almost outshines Walter in her portrayal of a love-starved wench stuck in an outland of men. But both women did better, in my opinion, than some of the Actors' Guild graduates today. Thanks.
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