11 user 6 critic

Crypt of Dark Secrets (1976)

A witch resurrects a murdered Vietnam vet and takes revenge on his killers.


Jack Weis


Irwin Blaché (original story) (as Irwin Blache), Jack Weis (screenplay)




Cast overview:
Ronald Tanet Ronald Tanet ... Ted Watkins
Maureen Ridley Maureen Ridley ... Damballa (as Maureen Chan)
Herbert G. Jahncke Herbert G. Jahncke ... Sgt. Buck (as Herb Jahncke)
Wayne Mack Wayne Mack ... Lt. Harrigan
Butch Benit Butch Benit ... Earl
Susie Sirmen Susie Sirmen ... High Priestess
Harry Uher Harry Uher ... Max
Barbara Hagerty Barbara Hagerty ... Louise
Lois Tillman Lois Tillman ... Voodoo Dancer
Cindy Almario Cindy Almario ... Voodoo Dancer
Nattie Dear Nattie Dear ... Voodoo Dancer
Vernel Bagneris ... High Priest
Jack Flynn Jack Flynn ... Banker
John Simmons John Simmons ... Other Banker


Army Ranger Ted Watkins, returning from his last tour of duty in Vietnam, decides to abandon society and take up residence in a remote corner of the Louisiana swamps. Thinking Watkins has a stash of loot hidden away in his cabin, three thieves sneak into his cabin and murder the man in cold blood. Before they can get away, however, a swamp witch named Damballa performs a voodoo rite to bring Watkins' body back to life and take revenge on the men who killed him. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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Crime | Horror



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User Reviews

"Drink the Juice of the Flower of Forgetfulness!"
10 January 2010 | by ofumalowSee all my reviews

The first thing to be said is that this silly but offbeat supernatural meller is unusually well shot for a genre cheapie of the era, and that SW's DVD print transfer is a knockout--the colors just pop, and some of the photography of the swamp is very beautiful. (The interior shots have an ordinary low-budget cheesiness. The film set in swamp country near New Orleans, and an on-screen credit says it was shot there too.)

The next is that this is a rare sympathetic genre portrait of a Vietnam vet at a point when they were often portrayed as violent psychos in drive-in flicks.

Another is that this movie has a lot of "exotic" interpretive dancing, always a good thing-- better still when it's naked. (And admittedly the woman who plays the snake-changeling sorceress i"Dambella" is gorgeous, with or without clothes--though her speaking voice is some weird mid-Atlantic affectation, like certain second-rung actresses of the 1930s who wanted to sound "sophisticated" aka quasi-British.)

I like how once our hero has "passed over," afterlife is no different from the "before;" the old voodoo priestess' purple-grey hair; Dambella's costumes straight out of Victoria's Secret; the villain-team wife who looks like she'd have recorded for Olivia Records in 1976; and the incongruity of some home decor much more tastefully fussed-over than these deep- backwoods characters would ever have in their homes. That said, the movie is more an enjoyable regional oddity than something that actually sustains suspense or atmosphere. Unless you consider scary so much photography of slithering water snakes--kudos to the (admittedly pretty amateurish) actors for swimming in various scenes, when there were presumably snakes (and maybe alligators) about. Ick!

Ultimately the plot doesn't make much sense--I have no idea what the final sacrifice/ritual/apparent resurrection means--but this is still enjoyable vintage nonsense. By the way, there's no "crypt" anywhere in sight.

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Release Date:

13 October 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark Secrets See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Omni National See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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