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Amando de Ossorio
María Elena Arpón
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Amando de Ossorio
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Amando de Ossorio
A team of researchers travel into the African jungle to study the mysterious disappearance of elephants in the area. Instead they discover a tribe of voodoo-zombies who rise from the ground, capture the women, whip them and slice their heads off on an altar. The women return as vampires who look for more women to kill. Written by
Amando de Ossorio will always be best remembered for his Blind Dead series of films, and that's a very good thing as the films he made outside of that trilogy aren't nearly as good - this one is a prime example. The subject of voodoo is an interesting one, but it never seems to cross over very well to movies, as just about every film I've seen on this topic has been disappointing and unfortunately, this one is no different. It's a real shame too as a film with these elements really could have been a lot better, but Amando de Ossorio isn't able to create an interesting plot around the central idea and unfortunately it falls flat. The film starts with a sequence that sees a woman have her head cut off during a voodoo ceremony. From there we focus on a team of researchers who head out into Africa in an attempt to find out why elephants are disappearing from the area. They soon discover that the locals are afraid of a legend about some voodoo witches in the area, and naturally this turns out to be true and some of the researchers get killed...etc etc.
I'm not sure if it was just a problem with the copy I saw (apparently, there's a remastered DVD out now), but this film is very dark and it's often difficult to make what - if anything - is going on. The cinematography is nothing special either and that's a shame because any film set in Africa has the potential for plenty of interesting shots but that isn't capitalised on. Amando de Ossorio does manage to pack some gore and nudity into the film, though it's scant consolation for the rest of the film. The sorcerers themselves also don't manage much in the way of intrigue as they don't appear all that often and when they do, not a lot happens. The plot surrounding the team of researchers is completely worthless and didn't generate anything that I cared for, which gives the film a rather flimsy backbone. Simón Andreu is the only name on the cast list that I recognised and he doesn't do enough to stand out. To the film's credit, the women featured are invariably very nice looking. Overall, this is not a great film and I can't recommend it; see Ossorio's Blind Dead series or The Loreley's Grasp instead!
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