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Voodoo Black Exorcist/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Voodoo Black Exorcist
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A stellar example of exploitation cinema—low budget, a cast of unknowns, nudity, sexual situations, National Geographic-like primitive ceremonies, violence and “gore,”—Voodoo Black Exorcist is both a semi-engaging time piece and a look at foreign-made (Spanish) perceptions of “black,” horror, and mystery.

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In the lead as Gatanebo, a centuries old “African” sarcophagus that occasionally comes to life, Aldo Sambrell keenly displays both his football player-like frame as well as his peeling, creepy (when re-incarnated) ancient skin. Tanyeka Stadler plays Kenya (in early “African” scenes white actors Sambrell and Stadler appear in blackface!) is both Gatanebo’s lost black love and a re-incarnated modern day white secretary whose charms are powerful enough to drive Gatanebo to beheading, crushing or strangling the people who get in his way.

Part Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, part The Mummy, part The Poseidon Adventure (the main action takes place aboard a cruise ship) Voodoo Black Exorcist is crude (that papier mache severed head!) but, at the same time, refreshing. Given the total lack of genuine scares or even suspense, that’s a pretty good recommendation.

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The compendium of film character cliché’s include an overweight, oversexed meat plant owner, a cheating, too inquisitive for his own good doctor, a tacky tarot card-reading blonde American housewife, and a silicone enhanced, fire-breathing on-deck “entertainer”. Add a string of fire-lit flashbacks whose focal point is a band of “native” topless dancers, a voodoo ceremony, and a human sacrifice—make that two!—and you’ve got a Grindhouse curiosity whose clumsy title—(Voodoo Black Exorcist?! Really?!)—is an accurate representation of the disjointed ideas, images and sounds (a soaring operetta!) found within. (See it in its entirety on You Tube.)

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Josiah Howard is the author of four books including the seminal Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide. His writing credits include articles for The New York Times, Reader’s Digest and The Village Voice. A veteran of more than 100 radio broadcasts he is a regular contributor to Grindhouse Cinema Database and in 2014-15 made regular appearances on TV One’s award-winning documentary series Unsung. Visit his Official Website.
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