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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Monday, August 19, 2019

Voodoo Black Exorcist (1974)

This is the result of another deep dive into one of my Mill Creek sets and boy is it a doozy. It starts with a couple in a canoe canoodling with one another. We find out that the man and woman shouldn’t have been doing that because she belongs to another. There is a fight between the men and the husband/king, it isn’t terribly clear, is killed. This leads to the woman losing her head and the man being cursed to live forever in the specially made sarcophagus.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Yeah this is the same plot as the Mummy movies. So of course, we have the “mummy” waking up and finding the reincarnation of his long-lost love at hand. He takes some revenge on random people and sort of loses his mind. The fun part is that most of the movie takes place on a cruise ship, which is different. Once on land he eventually kidnaps the woman with the authorities in hot pursuit. They catch up and some bad stuff happens as things end rather abruptly.

Where to start with this one? Well the first thing you will notice is that the woman in the first few scenes is apparently wearing makeup to make her look black. This is confirmed when the movie moves to the present day and the actress is clearly white. I understand that this being a Spanish/Italian flick they might be coming from a different place, but they had to know on some level that was going to be an issue. I’m not overly sensitive to these things but it seems gratuitous. Speaking of gratuitous there is a lot of skin in this movie. As was the tradition of European horror they did not like to give the actresses much in the way of wardrobe. Unlike the previous point I mentioned this was expected and helps to give the movie it’s trashy exploitation vibe.

Effects work is okay.
The dubbing is about what you would expect with the English-speaking voiceover actors being sort of stilted and over the top. I wonder if this was a cold read from a script without being able to see a copy of the scenes they were dubbing. The inflection is all wrong at times and comes off goofy. The copy I watched was transferred from a beat-up print and includes all kinds of scratches and odd syncing issues. It was also really dark and hard to see what was happening at times. Still I don’t mind that so much as it adds to the flavor of a flick like Voodoo Black Exorcist. The makeup is okay but is clearly inspired by the look of Karloff’s Mummy with the wrinkled skin when he is full on creature.

My only real complaint about the movie, and it is a big one, is the pacing. This is one of those movies that has maybe fifteen minutes of content stretched out to a feature length movie. We get a lot of skulking around and flashbacks to the past that do nothing to movie the story along. I found it really difficult to get thru Voodoo Black Exorcist. For this reason, I can’t recommend it unless you are suffering from insomnia. Then this might be helpful.

© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer

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