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The Believers (1987)

 -  Horror  -  10 June 1987 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 3,290 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 25 critic

A New York psychiatrist finds that a voodoo cult, which believes in child sacrifice, has a keen interest in his own son.

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Title: The Believers (1987)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Harley Cross ...
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Lee Richardson ...
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Carla Pinza ...
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Raúl Dávila ...
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Larry Ramos ...
Diner Counterman
Philip Corey ...
Calder's Assistant
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Storyline

After the death of his wife, police psychiatrist Cal Jamison moves to New York. There he has to help in the investigation of the murder of two youths, who seem to have been immolated during a cult ritual. Jamison believes it's been Voodoo and, ignoring the warnings of his housekeeper, enters the scenery and soon gets under their influence. They try to get him to sacrifice his own son. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing Can Stop Them. No One Can Help You. They Know Who You Are. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Believers  »

Box Office

Gross:

$18,753,438 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One studio executive suggested having the Beastie Boys perform on the soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

When Jessica and Cal are participating in the Santeria ceremony, Jessica is sprayed with chicken blood. The blood initially hits the edge of her shirt near her neck. In a following shot, that part of her shirt is completely clean. See more »

Quotes

Customs agent: [Arriving at the airport] Open this please?
Palo: [First Lines] Just personel items... no need to look in there
[Palo stares deep into the man's eyes]
Customs agent: [Now in a trance like state] All-Right.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in NCIS: Head Case (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Patacon Pisas
Performed by Johnny Ventura
Courtesy of Combo Record Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Then I saw his eyes, now I'm a Believer!
2 January 2014 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

What happens when an acclaimed A-listed director like John Schlesinger ("Midnight Cowboy", "Marathon Man") and an acclaimed A-listed actor like Martin Sheen ("Apocalypse Now", "Badlands") decide together to cash in on the contemporary popular trend of making a religiously themed horror movie? Sadly – but predictably – this results in a pretentious, dreadfully overlong and ridiculous piece of melodramatic soap-opera schlock! Back in the era of pioneering cinema, there were a handful of titles – "I walked with a Zombie" and "White Zombie" to name just two – that put forward the theme of voodoo as something uniquely macabre and nightmarish, but ever since the 1980's, many directors mistakenly assume that it is horrifying enough just to insert images of bloody headless chicken corpses and African tribes performing silly dance rituals. Schlesinger makes the exact same mistake and, atop of that, also adds far too many family drama sub plots and redundant detective elements. The opening sequences are supposed to be tragic and heart-wrenching but (and maybe it's just me?) I found them quite imbecilic and banal. Police psychiatrist Cal Jamison loses his wife in a far-fetched kitchen accident – malfunctioning coffee machines and spilled milk do not go well together – and moves to the center of New York with his 7-year-old son. What follows is an irritating series of clichéd situations, since daddy falls in love with the new landlady but obviously doesn't want to neglect his traumatized little boy. Meanwhile, his job also drags him into a spider web of intrigues regarding the Santerío-religion. This strange religion worships African spirits in the shape of Christian Gods (or something like it, I don't know) and has quite a few of influential disciples in NY. The lives of innocent young boys are sacrificed in favor of obnoxious rich adults and, because he sticks his nose too much in the voodoo business, Jamison's own son is suddenly in danger as well. Unlike Alan Parker in the superior "Angel Heart", John Schlesinger didn't have the balls to show any controversial themes or shocking images. However, if you happen to fancy tedious and confusing dialogs, dull sentimental interludes, a complete lack of atmosphere or tension and weak performances from usually reliable actors (besides Sheen also Robert Loggia, Harris Yulin and Jimmy Smits), then you absolutely must see "The Believers". I'm required to admit there are two memorable highlights as well, though. There's one marvelous, but misfit, scene with eerie little spiders crawling out of a woman's jaw and also the casting of Malick Bowens as the sinister voodoo priest. His evil stare was the only thing preventing me to stop watching this garbage before it was actually finished.


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