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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...

Friday, August 25, 2023

The Disembodied (1957)

Time for yet another bit of fun from the fifties. This one kicks off with a lady putting a noose around the neck of a voodoo doll and giving it a good squeeze. In the room next door a man starts to choke and struggle. Luckily for him she is interrupted and he immediately feels better. The woman is Tonda and the man is her husband Dr. Metz. Being that he is a doctor it isn’t much of a surprise when some men show up with an injured friend. Having been mauled by a lion he isn’t given much of a chance but Metz tries nonetheless. The two uninjured men bed down in a nearby outbuilding.

The rest of the movie is Tonda, who is a voodoo queen, trying to seduce and convince Tom, one of the men, to kill her husband. Why? Because she is evil and has tired of him. When they try to leave she sabotages their Jeep and kills their porter. When that doesn’t stop them she shows her true colors and stabs her husband threatening Tom and the other man with being blamed for the murder. Though he isn’t dead yet it isn’t looking good. There is also a subplot where Tonda kills a local native because he caught her making out with Tom. This is important because in the end that man’s wife gets some revenge and prevents Tonda from getting away with yet another murder to cover her tracks.

This is a decent bit of fifties fun. The story is fast paced and the movie is a speedy sixty-six minutes long so there isn’t much of a commitment here. Unlike many other movies from the decade of nuclear spawned monsters the horror here comes from voodoo. We get dolls, a couple of ceremonies, and men possessed to do Tonda’s bidding. If you are looking for a rubber monster suit this isn’t the movie for you. Honestly the lack of creature probably does hurt this one a bit, but Tonda is a decent villain and is played well by actress Allison Hayes.

The lovely Allison Hayes!
Hayes is best known for her roles in Zombies of Mora Tau, The Undead, and Attack of the 50 ft. Woman. I get a kick out of all these movies and she is excellent in them as well. Here she does a wonderful job playing a manipulative and murderous character. Without her performance I don’t think the movie works at all. Sadly, she retired due to health issues and passed away far too young otherwise I’m sure she would be a bigger name. The rest of the cast is filled with “B” actors and do a decent job in their roles.

While researching this review I found out that The Disembodied was released as the lower half of a double bill with From Hell it Came as the top half. This is one of those times when I think they nailed it. The movies have a similar type of location, has a few natives, and lots of drums beating away in the background. Of course, From Hell it Came does have the big rubber monster, in this case a tree demon, so that makes it slightly more fun. I think I’m going to have to recreate this double feature at some point on my own.

While not a perfect movie The Disembodied was fun. I recommend fans of fifties genre flicks give it a chance. Maybe in the double feature that I mentioned above. Now I’m off to watch another bit of cinematic nonsense.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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