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|Index||16 reviews in total|
Let's face it, this is a pretty bad film.However if you go in ready to
fun of it you can survive the experience.Okay, you'll scream in agony a
lot.African jungle fun in a dopey kind of way.
Tom Conway (who spends most of the film wearing a funky chapeau) is using the local witch doctor and mad science to create a "perfect" being.It looks like a varmint that has been on a six week drunk and is in a sack dress.Ugly is being kind.But it won't kill for him because he's using a good girl as his subject.He needs a bad bad girl.
Marla English and Lance Fuller are two petty crooks in search of African gold.Acting lessons for Ms English should have been at the top of the search list.She's a bad girl and lets everybody know it in a performance worthy of a junior high school play.Mike "Touch" Connors is the white guide English & Fuller con into leading the expedition.
English & Conway finally meet and it is a match made in hell.She is the perfect subject to become his voodoo creature because she'll do anything (stress anything) to get what she wants.You will do anything to stop the agony of this movie at this point.
What made this movie interesting for me was Conway wearing that funky tribal hat/headdress/floral piece!Still trying to figure out what kind of dead animal it was.Guess he thought if he pulled it down low enough over his eyes nobody would recognize him.
Truly bad cinema.
This 1950's howler is so bad it's unintentionally funny. Tom Conway portrays Dr. Gerard, a scientist who is turning natives into a monster using voodoo. His poor wife, played by Mary Ellen Kay, is being held captive by her wacko hubby who has no time for her but threatens to kill her if she leaves him. Along comes Marla English as a greedy murderess who has already killed a man to find treasure in the jungle. Her idiot boyfriend, portrayed by Lance Fuller, is along on the safari. They hire "Touch" Connors, (later renamed Mike Connors, of Mannix fame) as a guide. English is a terrible actress, but hey, no one else in the cast were turning in academy award winning performances either. "Touch" (I'm sorry, I can't even type the name without cracking up, I mean, what the...) gave the only half way decent performance of the bunch and that's saying a lot. The monster is only seen briefly, and the ending is predictable to say the least. I would say this movie falls into the "it's so bad, it's almost good" category of movies. It's good on a rainy night when nothing else is on the tube.
Dismal cheapie from AIP that stars a rough-looking Tom Conway as a mad scientist in the jungle using voodoo to turn women into monsters. It's a mostly dull affair with a few campy moments that are worth some laughs. But these are sadly few and far between. Most of the time it's just boring. Conway has seen better days. He looks sickly here. But he still (over)acts his pants off, which is appreciated. Marla English makes for a fun bitch; she's easily the highlight of the movie. Mike Connors is the "hero" who exists just to give the mad scientist's put-upon wife (Mary Ellen Kay) a stud to walk into the sunset with. The monster suit for the 'voodoo woman' is the same as the suit from The She-Creature with some minor changes. She-Creature is a much more fun movie, though. Also the drum beat played throughout sounds a bit like the opening to Sympathy for the Devil.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not going to mince words: Eddie Cahn's "Voodoo Woman" is terrible. Tom Conway deserved better than this, but when the roles aren't there and you need work then these kinds of films are what you're stuck with. He's a mad doc in voodoo tribe trying to use their magic with his science in the hopes of creating a monster to be shown to those colleagues who might have found his theories balderdash. Mary Ellen Kay is the pretty, blond wife trapped in a home, with posted tribal guard wielding a mean spear. Marla English is greedy and bad, hoping to gain gold possibly found at the tribe of Martin Wilkins' priest, Chaka. Her fiancé, Norman Willis, is equally repellent. Following Marla, the two commission Mike Connors as knowledgeable guide to lead them to the tribe, but the triangle deteriorates as they get closer to their destination. Conway must manipulate the tribe and keep his standing among them respected so they won't turn on him. Dealing with the tribe gradually becomes more and more difficult. Conway's mad dream might see reality when he meets Marla. Willis strangles a tribal girl he seemingly was trying to sexually assault which gets him in deep trouble. Meanwhile Connors meets Kay, the two planning escape. Marla is to be turned into the monster (documented to be a costume held over from She Creature) by Conway but, of course, that goes awry. Conway didn't age well due to his alcoholism, and this film is so far distant from the classy pictures he made for Val Lewton a decade earlier. His suave and smooth vocally rich tenor remains his best asset, but the role he's stuck with, a rotten soul bound and determined to make himself a monster, is no great shakes. Marla kisses and peddles her sexual wares to secure a profit, broke and without any future prospects, owing even a bar tab, needing either Willis or Connors to get her near something valuable... she'll never be confused with a bona fide thespian. Neither will Kay who crashes to her bed and cries into the pillow, overwrought as Conway insists, with the occasional insult or slap to the kisser, she never leave...Conway does like to scare her with what he's doing with the tribe beauty in his basement. Connors is often held at gunpoint or spear, just wanting to leave, eventually joining forces with Kay. The voodoo tribe and their use in horror in the 40s and 50s wouldn't fly today. Predating the cannibal jungle horror of Italian vintage twenty years, films like Voodoo Woman could be seen as a precursor...the ways of a tribe in the jungle were viewed here as primitive, often easy to deceive and frighten by Conway's cunning scientist, capitalizing on their beliefs and worship practices to benefit his own diabolical agenda. Conway, though, puts himself in danger by having his monster attack the tribe, and places his own body in harm's way. Marla's fate at a pit because she didn't kneel to pick up a gold artifact is laughable. The plot regarding how the monster is manufactured is preposterous.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Believing that a tribe deep in the African jungle has gold a ruthless woman by the name of "Marilyn Blanchard" (Marla English) and her boyfriend "Rick Brady" (Lance Fuller) manage to manipulate a guide named "Ted Bronson" (Mike Connors) to take them to this village. What none of them realize is that there is a mad scientist named "Dr. Roland Gerard" (Tom Conway) who has been staying there and learning the black arts which he hopes to combine with western science in order to transform a female into a monster he can control with the power of his mind. Now rather than reveal any more of this movie and risk spoiling it for those who haven't seen it I will just say that this is clearly a low-budget, grade-B film from days gone by which most people probably won't like or appreciate. However, to suggest that this is one of the worst films ever made is probably a bit of a stretch too. In any case, having grown up with movies like this in my early years I personally didn't think it was that bad and for that reason I have rated it as about average.
Random thoughts that popped into my head while watching "Voodoo Woman":
1) Poor Tom Conway. Either he thought this role was beneath him (but took it anyway to keep the wolf from the door) or he was completely out of his depth, because he gives a completely squirrelly and disconnected performance where he is obviously reading from cue cards most of the time. Plus...that HAT!!!
2) Poor Lance Fuller. The guy had a certain way about him, but alas his talent is strictly 3rd tier, and it doesn't help that the character he plays is a greasy slimeball.
3) Poor Mike Connors. He pretty much carries the movie, but he should have carried it straight out the door and into the dumpster.
4) The lead female - someone should have gently taken her aside and told her the difference between "tough noir temptress" and "irritating, hateful harpy". She actually looked pretty good in the role, but every time she opened her mouth, I wanted to punch her.
6) The final scene where the murderous harpy tries to retrieve the final remaining chunk of gold from the edge of the volcanic pit where it came to rest, only to lose her balance and fall in...is the single most badly staged and unbelievable choreography of a "fall" I can remember seeing. Apparently it never occurred to the poor lady to bend her knees.
7) This wasn't nearly as bad as earlier AIP fodder like "Beast With A Million Eyes", and I am sure someone had fun watching it as the bottom half of a Drive in double feature...but 40+ years down the road, it has not aged well. Good AIP/Corman stuff almost always had the germ of something interesting and creative driving them...but this poor cast- off just comes off trite, rote, and derivative.
8) At the end of the day, people who were trying to make a living in the movie business got paid. At least there's that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
An uninspired little B-movie, no different from a million others. The
only thing which makes this one distinct is the use of a jungle
setting, although this is obviously studio bound. The acting is all
pretty much standard for a film of this type, the men being macho and
the women being inferior. One women is kept in her house to stay out of
the way, obviously the '50s values are far removed from today's world.
Another woman kills somebody and turns out to be a villain, so I guess
the entire female species get a rum deal in this film. Also, one guy
comes across as an Indiana Jones-type hero who even gets to use a
Molotov cocktail in one amusing scene.
In amongst some fairly boring action (typical fight scenes), there is a hilariously awful rubber suited monster running about on the rampage, in fact the monster suit is the same as the one used in THE SHE-CREATURE. Talk about cheap. This film is also pretty racist in the depiction of the jabbering natives who run around and perform their voodoo rituals by cutting the heads off chickens. It's pretty outrageous to watch this stereotypical view. With some low rent action scenes (mainly involving shooting), an absurd, rarely seen monster and lots of overheated dialogue, this is pretty much your typical kind of '50s exploitation; there are better and there are worse. It's definitely nothing to get excited about.
Looking for gold in a remote African village, a team of explorers
stumble upon a mad doctor working with the natives to create a race of
people using black magic to rule the world, and that the first test
subject is stalking them in the jungle along their journey.
This one here wasn't all that bad of a low-budget voodoo effort. What really gives this one a lot of enjoyable elements here is the fact that it really generates a pretty intriguing atmosphere with the use of the voodoo angle to really help sell this one's connection to the jungle setting here. This one gets that element off to a great start here with the opening voodoo ceremony being performed where the gathered crowd gets whipped into a frenzy as the ritual items placed on her and the enhanced dancing before the transformation makes which for a great start to this, and with the ever-present tribal drumming throughout here as well as the jungle- dwelling atmosphere that really helps to solidify the voodoo-filled atmosphere of this part of the film. As well, this also makes use of one of the strongest and most vital aspects of voodoo about it not being able to force someone to do something they usually wouldn't do, and it really sells this aspect of the religion by forcing a critical plot-point to come from this and to be able to stick to conventions is to be commended. Other fun here comes from the scenes with the voodoo-raised creature as the different resurrections in the bunker are incredibly creepy and the action scenes of it charging into villages and destroying everything are quite fun, though it's the finale that really sells this one. Bringing into play the ceremonial altar deep in the fog-enshrouded jungle, the wild dancing and chanting being quite fun and there's the fine set- pieces of capturing the wife as well as the different battles to be found at the ceremony which is where this one really makes for a great time here. With the fantastic creature design and the low- budget charms on display, this one is enjoyable enough to overcome the few minor flaws here. The main issue against this one is obviously the cheap, low-budget nature of the film which doesn't really make any part of this one look like anything else here except for a cheap cash-in. The sets, the simplicity of the locations and the whole atmosphere is so obviously and easily seen as such it really takes a lot out of the film in that state. Likewise, that continues into the overall length of this as the film takes on barely enough to reach the hour mark and really only gets there with only a few minor set-pieces that stretch that length out with the rather lame scenes of her being kept hidden in her room, the time- wasting scene in the motel room where they get held up from going on their trip and the scenes of them in the jungle wrestling for control with each other are quite lame and really just seem stretched out variations just to get it to a proper running time. These issues, along with the rather cheap look, all lower this one somewhat.
Today's Rating/PG: Violence.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Monster's definitely the "motive" for this kind of movie- which makes one wonder why the filmmakers always insist on keeping the critter off screen as much as possible. (In this case, Paul Blaisdell's She Creature is given a makeover- head only- and relegated to the surrounding foliage throughout the movie.) Tom Conway has that "far away" look in his eyes, as if he's fondly recalling something funny he heard once, and he more or less sleepwalks through his part- but with enough innate acting ability to carry it off; kind of like Basil Rathbone in SON OF FRANKENSTEIN... Marla English is center stage and this goes a LONG way toward making VOODOO WOMAN watchable.
Watch this film if you want to make fun of a movie. There is a lot to
make fun of here because it's a real eye-roller. Dumb looking creature
with a blonde wig. WOW that's scary! Let's not forget the bad acting -
in particular the dark haired female lead. This female lead is just
hateful and not tough. There's more to poke fun at but that give you
and idea already. It's also very boring so it will help to pass the
time to make fun of the film.
Why isn't this another "Voodoo Man" titled film instead of being called "Voodoo Woman"? It's a man that is using voodoo to hoodoo the islanders among others. He's a "mad scientist" trying to create a perfect indestructible race that will do his bidding. Whatever.
OK this film is going in my "garbage films" list.
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