The movie kicks off with a witch, who we later find out is named Damballa, doing witchy stuff while dancing around a magic circle and levitating. Then it switches to the sheriff’s office where we get a bit of background. They are talking about a local legend of an Aztec witch, Damballa, who lives on a nearby island in the swamp. There is a fully furnished house that no one will claim because everyone gets chased off by the raven-haired girl who can turn into a snake. That is except for the current “young fella” a retired army ranger named Ted Watkins. Ted is looking for a quiet place to spend his time after his tour of Vietnam.
Since Ted has lasted much longer than anyone else, they decide to visit him. It is here where we find out that he has been cashing his retirement checks and keeping the cash with him on the island. Some locals find out and a plan to steal his money is hatched. The most foolproof way to get away with it is to make sure there are no witnesses so sure enough they murder Ted before making off with the loot. But Damballa brings him back to life for some revenge. Well not really. She ends up doing her voodoo magic to get the payback on the thieves/murders because Ted is now alive again, but also at peace. Then there is some talk about a prophecy, and they live happily ever after.
Objectively Crypt of Dark Secrets feels like a forgettable bottom half of a double feature that served to fill up the promised time/value of getting to see a pair of movies for your entry fee. And I can’t argue with anyone that wants to take this movie to task for the flaws I’ve listed above. But damn it I like this sort of silliness and I think that it fits in quite nicely with contemporary flicks that filled this need. Hell, it is way better than many of them that meander and never get around to showing us much of anything on the screen. For that reason alone, I’m recommend my fellow drive-in nerds to track themselves down a copy of this one. I think you will dig it as much as I did.
© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer