Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Voodoo Passion (1977)
I'm always a bit sceptical when it comes to the pure softcore productions from Uncle Jess, but Voodoo Passion was still made during the seventies and the steady hand of Erwin C. Dietrich as producer. Why sceptical? Probably because they mostly are focused on tits and ass, shaky zoom-shots on pubic hair and going gynaecological with the camera. That just bores me. But I need to learn to trust Uncle Jess, because behind the most boring premises there's actually some nice ideas and originality. This one is a remake, according to many, of Franco's own 1970 production Nightmares Come at Night. I have it on DVD but never seen it, so I guess that's one thing I must do now. But back to Voodoo Passion - Call of the Blonde Godess!
Susan (Ada Tauler) moves to
to join her new husband Jack (Jack Taylor) there. They are newly wed and it
comes as a surprise when Jack's sex-crazy lesbian sister Olga (Karine Gambier)
also lives in their house. Her life revolves around sex and nothing more. Susan
soon finds this quite nice and starts living the dream together with her
husband and his sister - but something is wrong! She starts having
hallucinations, almost trance-like walks - and she's killing people! Is it
voodoo? Or something more sinister, something more natural? Haiti
There's a lot of penis in this movie. And buttocks (often those of Jack Taylor). And pubic hair and vaginas. Often in close-up and often lingering a few seconds too long. But that's what's it all about, it's a softcore thriller set on
Franco! What to expect? While I fail to see the exciting with these many, many
sex scenes, I can still see that it's a stylish and often very entertaining
sex-thriller. The bright and clean cinematography looks fantastic (at least
when it's in focus) and the hotel gardens standing in for jungles looks good. Haiti
Even if the sex and nudity is the most important thing here it's easy to see that Franco want to create a mystery and build-up an interesting, but thin, storyline that will help us get through the cheesiness. Karine Gambier is easiest the best thing here. Not that she's the best actress, but she's so vulgar, blonde and over-the-top that it's hard to dislike her. Muriel Montossé, who plays the lesbian housekeeper Inès, has a stunning and almost scary look (the eyes, the eyes!) and rules most of the footage she's in. Jack Taylor does his job, and is great, but this is a strictly women's movie and so shall it be.
In-between these reproductive organs and nice tropical gardens there's the music of Walter Baumgartner and I must say that here he's created a couple of masterpieces. Especially one piece, traditional jazz fused with some form of tropical bongo-beats. It's so good and so hypnotic and suddenly raises the somewhat cheap production several notches up to a completely different class of filmmaking.
No, I can't say that Voodoo Passion is a great movie, but it worked for me and Franco made it a little bit interesting with some clever twists and nicely handled sleaze-filled voodoo-sequences.
The only thing really bad is the awkward opening dance-number on the beach. I've seen drunk old men do better than that on the ferry to