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Macumba Love (1960)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Fantasy | June 1960 (USA)
A writer who specializes in exposing fake witchcraft journeys to Brazil to investigate a voodoo cult.


Douglas Fowley


Norman Graham (story), Norman Graham (screenplay)


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Credited cast:
Walter Reed ... J. Peter Weils
Ziva Rodann ... Venus de Viasa
William Wellman Jr. ... Warren
June Wilkinson June Wilkinson ... Sara
Ruth de Souza ... Mama Rata-loi
Pedro Paulo Hatheyer Pedro Paulo Hatheyer ... Insp. Escoberto
Cléa Simões Cléa Simões ... Symanthemum
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ricardo Campos Ricardo Campos
Victor Merinow Victor Merinow
Pedro Santos Pedro Santos
Jean Thuyret Jean Thuyret
Waldemar Wey Waldemar Wey


J. Peter Wells, an expose writer, arrives on an island off the coast of South America (no country identified), to complete a book on voodoo, ju-ju,macumba, mojo and other cult beliefs, which he believes is responsible for unsolved murders on this island. Wealthy land-owner Venis de Vias warns him against stirring up the natives, especially any efforts to lessen the prestige of the reigning VooDoo Queen Mama Rata-loi. The arrival of Wells' daughter, Sara, and her husband, Warren, on a honeymoon trip, starts the pot to boiling and making the natives restless. Most restless of all is Mama Rata-loi, who asserts her powers and puts a spell on Venus de Viasa. The next thing honeymooner Warren knows is that he is trussed up and about to become the one chosen to die in a voodoo ceremony. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mysticism | voodoo | writer | island | cult | See All (28) »


Blood lust of the voodoo queen! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »



Brazil | USA



Release Date:

June 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bloddronningen See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


With the price of your ticket, you were given a "Voodoo Charm" to ward off evil: a packet of sugar (the same sort that restaurants use) with the film logo on it. See more »


Referenced in A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Do that voodoo!
3 April 2001 | by reptilicusSee all my reviews

This is a movie that offers everything. Minimal doses of gore, sexual suggestiveness, but overall a sense of subtlety that borders on Val Lewtonesque. I'm not sure if director Douglas Fowley was trying for a deliberate feeling of ambiguity or if he was restricted by a low budget but whatever his reasons, it worked! Notice the scene where Peter Weils(Walter Reed) and paramour Venus (Ziva Rodann) are on the beach. A hawk flies down behind a rock and suddenly out steps voodoo preistess Mama Rataloi (Ruth DeSouza). Is she able to change her shape or was she behind the rock all the time and the arrival of the hawk just a coincidence? After she has spied on them she vanishes from sight again and just seconds later we see a snake sliding quickly away. Another coincidence? Personally I think not.

About the gore. There is a scene where Mama Rataloi shoves a hatpin dipped in snake venom through the eye of a man who dared to be a non believer. In the TV prints the whole screen just turns red at that moment but in the theatrical prints we actually see the pin go into the eye, a gore scene that pre-dates H.G. Lewis by 3 years! As for the voodoo depicted in this film being real, just watch what happens at the end of the film when the ceremony is quickly broken up by the police. I won't spoil it for you if you have yet to see the movie but if you have spent the whole running time deciding Mama Rataloi is just a fake, keep your eyes on her during the last minutes of this picture. MACUMBA LOVE was filmed in Brazil, not Haiti because the real voodoo people refused to co-operate with the filmmakers. Obviously the biggest selling point was not the plot itself but the inclusion of June Wilkinson, a British model whose lucky numbers were 44-26-36. Still the plot is handled along believable lines and there are some catchy authentic songs like "Dance Kalinda" and "To Market". This is a hard film to find on video but well worth the hunt.

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