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Headhunter (1988)

 -  Horror  -  17 October 1989 (USA)
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A Miami cop finds out his wife has a female lover, and he begins to have an affair with his female partner. Meanwhile, a voodoo demon from Africa arrives among Miami's Nigerian community ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Katherine Hall
Pete Giullani
Captain Ted Calvin
Denise Giullani
John Fatooh ...
Gordon Mulholland ...
Prof. Robert Sinclair
Sam Williams ...
Samuel Juru
Helena Kriel ...
Ted Le Plat ...
Detective Haynes
John Barrett ...
Detective #2
Frank Notaro ...
Store Clerk
Jim Neill ...
Isaac Albert ...
Robert La Thom ...
Al Roberts ...
Praying Man, Pastor Bobby


A Miami cop finds out his wife has a female lover, and he begins to have an affair with his female partner. Meanwhile, a voodoo demon from Africa arrives among Miami's Nigerian community and begins decapitating some people and possessing others--including the cop's wife. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Black Magic. Pure Terror.




R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

17 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Head Hunter  »

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A mildly interesting but kinda weak late supernatural horror effort
23 July 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Happily I picked this up pretty cheaply, intrigued by the title and the plotting and with a dim recall of seeing a bit of it some years ago. Its not a well known film and its easy to see why though its not too bad altogether. The plot has Nigerian immigrants in Miami slain by a mysterious evil doer with a fondness for decapitation, who it transpires may be the incarnation of an ancient god. its a sold premise but sadly one that is not best used. The biggest problem is that the script shies away from the interesting supernatural elements, we don't get too much on the head hunter, its religion or the history of its victims and worst of all for a film that announces itself so clearly in its title, there isn't any truly satisfying decapitation action, the odd OK scene and some funny stuff but nothing that really lives up to the hope that the title inspires. The film prefers to focus on its leads, two sympathetic investigating cops, their relationship and personal travails and their slow, inching investigation, in which they get leads though little more than luck and are never really seen doing any hard police-work, kinda undermining the focus on police of the film. Still, our leads are good and their dialogue has an easy flow and frequent amusement and they share a good chemistry. We have Wayne Crawford as the male lead whose wife has left him and pretty Kay Lenz as his partner, on whose floor he ends up sleeping. Both work well and carry even the slower and soapier moments of the film. Steve Kanaly makes an impression as well as their racist captain who is infuriated by the case and Sam Williams does well as a wise and helpful professor. Its really handy that the performances work because the film isn't that exciting or menacing. It also sadly lacks gore that would help out with these deficiencies or let the film live up to its name. There is a bit of bloodshed and one or two brief gore shots but thats it really. The film just cruises in slow gear, perks up for a fistful of good interesting or mildly tense scenes smattered throughout but takes until the final fifteen minutes or so before any serious excitement develops and even then its pretty cheesy. The monster is fun though, it gives a bit of spark and the film is reasonably made, with decent set dressing and neat sense of locations as well as interesting camera angles which give it a pleasant enough, moderately watchable hook even though the action isn't up to much. This all makes the film sound poor and its not great, but its not too bad, really. It has its shonky charms and some scenes are pretty fun, when the film makes an effort it can raise smiles, chuckles, it may not be a pulse racer or anything essential but as a devoted 80's trash hound I sort liked it in a dopey kind of way. So, nothing to spend much time hunting for and chiefly aimed at a select audience of us folk who will watch more or less any horror, but for people like me who just have to watch this kind of film, its OK.

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