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In Africa, a hunter kills a great lion. The animal turns out to be sacred to a local tribe of voodoo worshipers, and when the hunter returns to England, he finds himself seeing strange apparitions involving the lion and murderous jungle warriors. Written by
I got the chance to purchase this movie at a very reasonable price several years ago. I knew little of the film, except that it was an old black and white British thriller from 1964, I had never seen it. This one just didn't show up on the Saturday night "Creature Features" that I loved as a kid growing up in the late 60's and early 70's. Now I was expecting a short semi-cheesy exploitation Horror film, perhaps similar to "The Woman Eater", a British black and white quickie about a living tree discovered by a mad scientist on an expedition who brings it back home to his laboratory where he "feeds" it female victims. I was way wrong in my expectations, and I wasn't aware at first that this was the same director (Lindsay Shonteff) who brought us the very eerie "Devil Doll" film. So at first I was very disappointed that this wasn't really a Horror movie at all. I watched it and then put it back on the shelf for a couple of years. Something made me pull it down and watch it again. THEN I "got" it. This isn't supposed to be a Horror movie at all, despite the title. The closest thing i can compare this to is perhaps an extended episode of the original "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" or the "Alfred Hitchcock Hour" TV shows. Now I love those shows. And if someone had prepared me that this film was like that I would have gone into it with proper expectations set. And i'm sure I would have enjoyed it the first time around. One can watch this wondering if the things that our protagonist thinks he's seeing and hearing are really a result of the curse placed on him in Africa or perhaps the hallucinations of a fevered, sickly mind, since he is also ill after his African travels. At least that's how I perceived at least the middle section of this movie, and I like films that can work on more than one level. Like I said, if only someone had prepared me for the type of film this was, chances are I would have gone into it with proper expectations and would have dug it the very first time. If however, you are looking for something more in the Horror genre, from this same time period, this director's "Devil Doll" is much more of a true Horror film (also featuring Bryant Haliday the same main actor featured here). That film has some incredibly eerie moments that, at times, come near to an almost "Carnival Of Souls" vibe. So if this isn't your cup of tea you may still want to check that one out. I'll give this one a solid 7 stars, but considering that the early reviewer of this film had different expectations and gave it such low ratings as a result, i'll raise it 8 stars.
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