West of Zanzibar

Director: Tod Browning
Year Released: 1928
Rating: 3.0

Cult talkie: magician Lon Chaney seeks revenge against Lionel Barrymore, who cripples him. It cuts, abruptly, to Zanzibar (or thereabouts) - years later - and shows how the hatred has evolved - Chaney, a cripple, uses the African natives (as his slaves) to steal Barrymore's ivory. Aside from little flaws here and there, it's wonderfully campy - Chaney twists his face into ominous shapes, Barrymore stomps around the sets, all the while greased up natives speak ... broken ... English and conduct cannibal/dancing rituals. The picture itself has been called "bizarre" - and it is - but not to the point of extreme; unlike Maltin, I liked the ending.