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Drums o' Voodoo (1934)


Arthur Hoerl


Augustus Smith (play) (as J. Augustus Smith), Augustus Smith (screenplay) (as J. Augustus Smith)


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Credited cast:
Laura Bowman Laura Bowman ... Auntie Hagar
Augustus Smith Augustus Smith ... Elder Amos Berry (as Gus Smith)
Morris McKenny Morris McKenny ... Thomas Catt
Lionel Monagas Lionel Monagas ... Ebenezer
Edna Barr Edna Barr ... Myrtle Simpson
Alberta Perkins Alberta Perkins ... Sister Agnes Knight
A.B. DeComathiere A.B. DeComathiere ... Deacon Dunston
Fred Bonny Fred Bonny ... Church Member Zero
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sam Baker Sam Baker
James Davis James Davis ... Brother Zumee
Theresa Harris
Paul Johnson Paul Johnson ... Church Member August
Pedro Lopez Pedro Lopez ... Larcon
Bennie Small Bennie Small ... Bou Bouche
Trixie Smith Trixie Smith ... Sister Marguerite


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Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »


Saturday Sinners and Sunday Saints Clash in the Battle of Good Against Evil! (original poster)









Release Date:

11 May 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Louisiana See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Laura Bowman made a number of personal appearances at screenings of the film in Washington, D.C., in February, 1934. See more »

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User Reviews

Decent Race Picture
23 April 2018 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Drums o' Voodoo (1934)

** (out of 4)

A sleazy man wants to turn a woman (Edna Barr) into a prostitute but her Baptist preacher uncle (Gus Smith) won't go for it. The only problem is that the man has something on the preacher and before long a voodoo priestess (Laura Bowman) gets in the middle.

DRUMS O' VOODOO was based on the Augustus Smith play and it was another example of an early race movie. That means that the entire cast and most of the production crew were black but the one person who wasn't was director Arthur Hoerl. He only directed four films in his career with this here being his last but he did write well over a hundred movies including the infamous REEFER MADNESS.

As far as this film goes, its basically shot like it was all performed on a stage and this here gives it a very stage-like quality. I must admit that there really wasn't anything special here outside of the cast all being black actors but at the same time the film was mildly entertaining for what it was. I thought the performances were a little better than you typically see in a race movie with the exception being Bowman who really goes over-the-top in her role.

Bowman, who got the main credit all over the promotional material, draws a few laughs with her performance but at the same time she's entertaining. The film doesn't have any visual style and there's not much of a set design to be impressed with. As I said, it appears the film was shot on a stage and there's no doubt that there wasn't much money spent. The movie is basically all dialogue with an extremely long and drawn out ending where both sides (Christianity and voodoo) battle it out.

The IMDB lists a 70-minute running time but I'm not sure how accurate that is. The print I watched was from Alpha Video and ran just 48-minutes and it certainly did seem like it was missing some footage with various jump cuts.

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