Thursday, April 23, 2015

WHITE ZOMBIE

Every Thursday I will be posting a chronology of excerpts from the Horror Crossover Encyclopedia that relates to television or film.

PROWLER # 2 - 4 “PROWLER: THE OFFICIAL ACCOUNT” (ECLIPSE COMICS)
Release Date: 1987 (Setting is 1930)
Series: Prowler
Horror Crosses: White Zombie
The Story: The Prowler takes on the villainous Murder Legendre.

Notes: Murder Legendre is the starring villain of the 1932 Universal horror film White Zombie. Murder Legendre was brought in via Jeff Rovin’s novel Return of the Wolf Man, and so now the Prowler is brought in. The Prowler is a retro 1930s vigilante, and Murder Legendre will be a featured recurring foe of the hero within his series.

WHITE ZOMBIE (FILM)
Release Date; July 28, 1932 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: White Zombie
The Story: In Haiti, a plantation owner wants another man’s fiance to marry him, and so enlists the assistance of voodoo master Murder Legendre, who turns the girl into a zombie.

Notes: Many writers seem to love using Murder Legendre as the villain in their stories. I wonder what kind of mother names her child “Murder”, though. Note that the zombies in this story are the traditional voodoo type zombies. These are people placed into a drug induced trance who appear to have died and been resurrected to become obedient slaves. This shouldn’t be confused with the type of zombie made famous by George Romero in fiction in which a deceased person is resurrected by some means (comet, radiation, gas, etc.) to become a flesh or brain eating monster. This film is followed by the 1936 sequel Revolt of the Zombies. This film was remade in 2009. The film is referenced in non-crossover ways in films such as Bride of the Monster, Vampire Hunter D, and Ed Wood.

REVENGE OF THE PROWLER # 1 “VAMPIRE MEAT” (ECLIPSE COMICS)
Release Date: 1988 (Setting is 1933)
Series: The Prowler
Horror Crosses: White Zombie; The Vampire Bat
The Story: A vampire bat attack brings the Prowler to investigate a case that involves both Dr. Otto von Niemann and Murder Legendre.
Notes: The Prowler is a vigilante hero created in the 1980s, but whose adventures take place in the 1930s. Murder Legendre is a recurring foe of his, but he is a villain who first appeared in the film White Zombie. Otto von Neimann was responsible for another similar scheme as the one in this tale in the film The Vampire Bat.

REVENGE OF THE PROWLER # 3 “THE TRAIL OF CARMINE BONOXIDE/WHITE ZOMBIE” (ECLIPSE COMICS)
Release Date: 1988 (Setting is 1941)
Series: The Prowler
Horror Crosses: White Zombie; Chandu the Magician; Dracula (novel -- sort of)
The Story: The Prowler is on a case that takes him to Haiti.
Notes: The Prowler is a modern day creation set in the pulp era. In this tale, he once again faces his recurring foe, Murder Legendre, who is originally from the film White Zombie. This story also creates the revelation that Murder Legendre and Chandu the Magician are brothers. Chandu was the main character of a radio show and two film serials. In the second of the films, Chandu was played by Bela Lugosi, who also played Murder Legendre in White Zombie. A Reverend Van Helsing also appears, who must be related to the other Van Helsings who fight vampires, monsters, and other evils.

PROWLER (ECLIPSE COMICS)
Release Date: 1987 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Prowler
Horror Crosses: White Zombie; Dracula (novel)
The Story: The Prowler comes out of retirement to once again face his enemy, Murder Legendre.
Notes: The Prowler is a 1980s comic about a pulp era vigilante. Murder Legendre first appeared in the film White Zombie, but is also a recurring foe of the Prowler. One of the Prowler’s friends is Reverend Van Helsing. By now it’s well established I hope that any and all with that last name is of the same family.

RETURN OF THE WOLF MAN (NOVEL BY JEFF ROVIN)
Release Date: 1998 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Wolf Man (Universal)
Horror Crosses: Frankenstein (Universal); Dracula (Universal); White Zombie; The Deadly Mantis; The Monolith Monsters; Werewolf of London; Creature from the Black Lagoon; Man Made Monster; The Mad Monster; Night Key; Invisible Man (Universal); Mummy (Universal)
Non-Horror Crosses: Abbott and Costello
The Story: Caroline Cooke inherits a castle in LaMirada, Florida. The town ends up soon being threatened by a monster as Larry Talbot has returned, after having been frozen in suspended animation for 50 years.
Notes: This novel brings together pretty much all of Universal Horror into the Horror Universe, and is a sequel to Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. Both Talbot and the Frankenstein monster had been in suspended animation in LaMirada for the past 50 years, negating the possibility of any Talbot or Monster appearances being related to the Universal characters during that time frame.

DARKEST HEART (NOVEL BY NANCY A. COLLINS)
Release Date: September 16, 2002 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Sonja Blue (Sunglasses After Dark)
Horror Crosses: White Zombie
The Story: In New Orleans, Sonja is dealing with split personality issues as her demonic side keeps taking control as a separate personality.
Notes: A voodoo priestess’ library contains a copy of “Legendre’s Le Livre d’Absinthe”. This seems to be a reference to Murder Legendre from White Zombie.

THE KATRINA PROTOCOL (NOVEL BY JEAN-MARC AND RANDY LOFFICIER)
Release Date: 2007 (Setting is August 2005)
Series: Club Van Helsing
Horror Crosses: Dracula (Bram Stoker); White Zombie; Brother Voodoo; Child’s Play; Tales of the Zombie; Revolt of the Zombies; Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; I Walked with a Zombie; Zombies on Broadway; Kolchak the Night Stalker; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; The Works of Stephen King; Charmed; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; The Lives of the Mayfair Witches; The Body Snatchers (novel); Carnacki Ghost Finder; The Exorcist (novel); the Thing
Non-Horror Crosses: Too Numerous to List.
The Story: During Hurricane Katrina, Hugo Van Helsing must fight zombies raised by a voodoo priest.
Notes: Hugo Van Helsing comes from the famous vampire hunting family, and his ancestors have met many famous figures of fiction, accounting for the large number of crossovers.

See also other blog posts regarding classic horror from the "golden age" of film:






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