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Voodoo Passion (1977)
* 1/2 (out of 4)
Jess Franco film about a woman who goes to visit her husband in Haiti and soon discovers another woman living in the house who claims to be her husband's nympho sister. The wife buys the story but soon she begins to be haunted by dreams of voodoo and a mysterious woman coming to warn her. Ada Tauler, Jack Taylor, Vicky Adams and Karine Gambier star in this film, which is a remake of Franco's 1970 film Nightmares Come at Night, which wasn't the best film in the director's career but it's certainly better than this. The biggest difference between the two is that the original went for more of a psychological style while this one here is nothing but non-stop sex scenes, which grow quite boring after a while. There's some beautiful locations, a nice music score and great sets but that's about the only thing this film has going for it. There is one hot lesbian scenes and some really bad dialogue, which gets some laughs but you'll do better searching out other parts of Franco's career.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Der Ruf der blonden Göttin" or "Call of the Blonde Goddess" or "Voodoo Passion" is a film by the notorious Jesús Franco and the years was 1977, which means it will soon have its 40th anniversary. It is one of those films he made in German-language as this is a Swiss production. And it is one of his films without the gorgeous Lina Romay. Her absence may have hurt the film, but it also struggles a lot from its disastrous script. The lead actress is Nanda Van Bergen and she shows us how little talent she has. Due to the location, this film includes much more nudity and sex scenes including more exotic actors than usual for a Franco film. But the really bad thing is that none of the actors are really attractive in my eye, which means that you have to be really desperate and horny to be able to enjoy this one. And it is certainly not for anybody in search of an interesting plot. This film was stupid, uninteresting and they did not even use the Haitian landscape for some stunning cinematography shots. Without a fount, one of Franco's worst. I am glad this one was pretty short and I absolutely do not recommend the watch.
Since 'Voodoo Passion' (or 'Call of the blond goddess', that is the
original title, literally translated) is regarded by many Franco
experts as one of his lesser works from the 1970s, I didn't exactly
rush to get the DVD, but when I finally did, it turned out to be much
better than many say. I don't know how anyone can prefer a bungled work
like 'Nightmares Come At Night' over this surprisingly round work of
art. The movie lives very much from the music, maybe that is an
underestimated factor. Turn up the sound, it helps a lot. Jess Franco,
apart from being a director, also had a passion for jazz music, and he
used jazz combined with voodoo drums to create obsessive intensity
here. In the middle of the movie, the music suddenly stops for a while
(when Susan tells Jack how scared she is), and the scary silence makes
you aware how much everything was in a musical flow before, driving on
and on through the dances and rituals.
The story as usual can be told in 5 lines: Susan (Ada Tauler) comes to an island (the tag line says it's Haiti) to marry Jack House (Franco regular Jack Taylor). A woman he introduces as his sister Olga (Karine Gambier) turns out to be his lover, so much for a normal marriage. Susan has nightmares of herself killing people under the influence of voodoo, and the housekeeper Ines (Vicky Adams) seems to have something to do with it. A conspiracy against Susan has begun... Debutante Vicky Adams plays the priestess with mesmerizing charm, stealing the show every time the camera catches her, thus she well deserved to become the first listed in the cast, although her role is smaller than those of Susan and Olga.
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