A young girl who lives on a tropical island loses her parents to a voodoo sacrifice, but although she manages to escape the island, a curse is put on her. Years later, as an adult, she ... See full summary »
This remake of West of Zanzibar (1928) made four years later tries to outdo the Lon Chaney original in morbidity. From a wheelchair a handicapped white man rules an area of Africa as a ... See full summary »
A young girl who lives on a tropical island loses her parents to a voodoo sacrifice, but although she manages to escape the island, a curse is put on her. Years later, as an adult, she feels a strong compulsion to return to the island to confront her past. Her husband, her daughter and her nanny go with her, but once back on the island, the woman finds herself elevated by the locals to the stature of a voodoo goddess, and she begins her inevitable descent into madness, with disastrous results for her family. Written by
Until only a few months ago, I had never even heard of this one despite the involvement of director Roy William Neill (THE BLACK ROOM ) and the era's foremost "Scream Queen" Fay Wray! Interestingly, it supplies the logical bridge between the distinctive Gothic and psychological backdrops of the two most notable early voodoo-related films namely WHITE ZOMBIE (1932) and I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943). The atmosphere here is similarly thick, without the need to resort to an actual prowling or possessed creature: indeed, having the lady concerned very well played by Dorothy Burgess actively believe in the power of voodoo (that is, until she sees the error of her ways on being asked to perform the ultimate sacrifice!), provides the biggest chill in this case! Incidentally, the two central female characters (with Wray being, naturally, the wide-eyed heroine) not only create the requisite contrast but make up for the rather uninteresting male lead burly Jack Holt! Perhaps not a classic of the genre, then, but a perfect example of "a film that has fallen through the cracks"; in fact, the copy I acquired is a hazy VHS-sourced recording of an old TCM screening.
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