Monday, October 19, 2009

VOODOO BLACK EXORCIST aka VUDÚ SANGRIENTO (1973) – Directed by Manuel Caño – Music by Fernando Morchillo

Greetings and felicitations, dear readers, it is I, Zillagord, Maven Turkey Knocker. Lo, I have returned from the depths of the cranberry abyss! Having survived a mind-boggling journey through the putrefying bowels of the celluloid gobbler, still rife with the aroma of hickory smoke and half-digested green bean casserole, I present you yet another reeking creature feature. And what could smell worse than a mummy? What, the movie’s title says NOTHING about a mummy? Uh, yeah, I’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do…

An amazing title! What could go wrong? Well, let’s examine the responsible parties:

Director Manuel Caño was also behind the lens (and probably under the table) for TARZAN & THE GOLDEN GROTTO and TARZAN & THE BROWN PRINCE, which featured BLOOD FREAK star/Conway Twitty-on-steroids clone Steve Hawkes. With only one degree of separation from that notorious turkey, it’s no wonder VBE stinks of something most fowl.

The soundtrack by Fernando Morchillo, replete with Pounding Drums and Fuzzy Guitars, is probably the best aspect of this flick. Morchillo worked on over 60 films during his career, including the awe-inspiringly titled WITCH WITHOUT A BROOM (man, the existential potential!), THE WITCHES MOUNTAIN, and NIGHT OF THE SORCERERS. That’s a lotta black magic music! “And although I know it’s simply ta –booooo….”

Now to the meat of the matter. The title is VOODOO BLACK EXORCIST. Whadda awesome moniker, sounds like film could be like ABBY only with voodoo, too! Yet the flick delivers on so little. Whadda predictable shock!! OK, fearless fiends, let’s dissect this sucka word for word, shall we?

First word: VOODOO! And there is some cuckoo voodoo going on here. The film opens with the requisite prologue, wherein we are privy to a tribal ritual complete with native nipples and perhaps the most ridiculous papier-mâché severed head of all time.

Sweaty dude is Aldo Sambrell, veteran of many a spaghetti western and of genre flicks like A GIRL FOR SATAN and VAMPIRE KILLER BARBYS (sic). Great titles too! Aldo is about to get all mummified; I thought that was an Egyptian thing. Guess I didn’t learn anything from WRASSLIN’ WIMMEN VS, AZTEC MUMMY, must’ve been too busy looking at the pointy bras.

OK, there’s your nipples, preverts.

Next word: BLACK! As in BLACKSPOITATION!! Love the genre. Just the inclusion of the word conjures up images of funky, funny laugh-riots like BLACULA, BLACKENSTEIN, and DR. BLACK & MR. HYDE. But this flick is all jive and hustle! Just check out Aldo and co-star Eva León (HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN, I HATE MY BODY) in Al Jolsen blackface. Selma, Alabama? Never heard of it! Incredible.

Great “afro” wig, too. Can we get Buckwheat and Stymie in here for cameos? Yeesh.

Dude, you be trippin’! Nope, we don’t even get “authentic” street dialogue…

Why does chick always go back to the dude against whom her lover is battling AFTER he’s on the ground bleeding?? Women, I’ll never understand ‘em, be they white, black, in full-body black make-up, whatever. Oh, did I mention this is still the prologue?? Yep, we spend the rest of the flick waiting for…

EXORCIST!! Makes me think of pea soup, projectile vomiting, spinning heads, “The power of Christ compels you!” and crucifix diddling when I see that word. Well, we get bubkis here friends. No demon, no barf, no self-pleasuring. My guess: they retitled this poorly-dubbed Spanish import for domestic release after “The Exorcist” came out, trying to make a few bucks. I love how they threw in BLACK to attract African American movie goers too! It’s an equal opportunity for us all to get pissed off! You gotta love the ingenuity of exploitation filmmakers; if only they used that creativity on the actual film. Speaking of which, let’s get back to the ploddingly plotted flick, already in progress…

Archeologist and Keenan Wynn doppelganger Alfredo Mayo (ATTACK OF THE ROBOTS) unearths ancient sarcophagus of Aldo and lugs it around on a cruise ship. Always a good plan.

Also on bored… er… board: Eva León, sans ‘fro. Eva has a prophetic dream, a harbinger of “something absurd and terrible at the same time.” Probably cuz she read the script! Thanks for the warning, Eva!

Here’s really annoying shrew and tarot card reader Mary Antonio Del Rio, or Mary A. River as she’s listed in credits! Love the translation; also listed in credits is, um, dude named Richard Rod (seriously)!! One among many of the disappointments of flick is that somehow this old nag survives the proceedings. I wasn’t too broken up about not seeing Richard’s rod though.

Nope, not John Malkovich-- this guy isn’t that crusty and aloof! It’s our pal Aldo.

Um… he’s WHITE now too? Guess all those years spent in the sarcophagus faded him out. Hate to see what Michael Jackson’ll look like when he rises from the grave…

Aldo goes on a murderous rampage, leaving a trail of piñatas in his wake…

Last major character is Hercule Poirot imitator Fernando Sancho (RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD, THE SATANIC MECHANIC) as fat lazy police investigator. Best line: “I have a system. When I don’t have a lead, I drink gin… and wait.” Nothing like good old fashioned detective work! Hey Peter Useless-slob, how ‘bout a crueler to go with that G&T??

Did I mention the severed heads???

In this scene, as mummy attacks the go-go gurl for not “finishing him off” after a lap dance, the viewer can espy the cameraman in the mirror! My favorite scene.

I love the carefully arranged soup bubbles. This pic is actually a great metaphor for the whole flick: it’s just one big tease…

Reunited and it feels so good! But in this flick, it’s not a duet sung by Peaches and Herb, more like Anne Murray and Barry Manilow. Guess one thing was exorcised from this dreck: SOUL, brother!


Samuel Wilson said...

My favorite part of this one was the way the mummy, after beating down the dancer, has to rush back to the museum and get inside his sarcophagus so the professor can show him off for a live TV broadcast.

TABONGA! said...

Make Tabonga think of 'diarrhea' soup!!

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