BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Voodoo Black Exorcist (1974) - Blu-ray Review

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Voodoo Black Exorcist - Blu-ray review

2 beersVoodoo Black Exorcist is something else, man.  If it sounds like it could be a rip-off to you, then your bullshit meter is working; there’s no need for a tune-up.  The curious thing about this title is exactly WHAT movie it is recreating and WHERE it is.  If you guessed The Exorcist, you’re wrong.  Sure, it’s trying to cash in on that tidal wave before it breaks for good, but – no – there are no exorcisms performed in this supernatural tale.  This one is sucking at that tit in title alone.  Guess again.  And, no, Blaxploitation flicks have little to do with this $1 cheapo depot Spanish production.

Let me give you some background first.  Aldo Sambrell (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) is Gatanebo (but, from here on out I’ll simply call him Nebo).  He is supposed to be of Nigerian blood.  Sambrell is not at all, which means the opening – taking place some 1000 years BEFORE the actual modern day narrative takes place – is covered head-to-toe in hysterically obvious dark make-up (but possibly just Hershey’s chocolate sauce) as he frolics in the South Seas with the very striking Eva Leoñ, who is also covered in the same thick chocolate sauce.

But she already has a man and he just happens to be the tribe’s chief.  Their oceanic lovemaking gets both of them in deep doo-doo.  A challenge is issued but, within minutes, Nebo has stabbed the leader.  The tribe does not react to this favorably.  With much suss and fuss, a "party" is thrown in their honor.  She gets beheaded.   NO!  He gets cursed and is buried alive.  NO!

And his casket is recovered much, much later. 

This is when the real story begins.  Centuries have passed, but when Nebo is awakened and discovers his true love lives again upon the ocean liner he is now mysteriously aboard, he will stop at nothing to be reunited with Princess Anck-es-en-Amon, er, I mean Helen, er, I mean, well, you get it.  Voodoo Black Exorcist is essentially The Mummy aboard a South Seas ocean liner as an ancient mummy goes on the prowl for his one, true honey. 

Trading Egypt for the Caribbean, the movie attempts to mount a spirited and quirky recap of a tried and true formula of horror.  It fails miserably, but that doesn’t mean this cult flick isn’t without merit.  Mostly it suffers from being the wrong type of bad b-movie as it lacks drive, spirit, and a sense of humor.

Directed by Manuel Caño (The Swamp of the Ravens) and produced by Fernano Sanchez (Return of the Evil Dead), the movie recycles its own scenes, mounts red-tinged flashbacks at almost every turn, rolls paper mache heads across the ground, and allows its camera man to be seen from time to time.  If only we could laugh at it, though.  It’s far too serious in it unraveling and – other than the few times we get to see Nebo run down the corridors of the ocean liner karate chopping his way through security – barely allows for moments of levity.

For a 90-minute b-movie, this one feels like it takes days to slog through.  That being said, though, there is a handful of strong camera shots with interesting views of Nebo’s coffin being hoisted from dock to boat and back again.  Those moments are; however, few and far between.  Interesting when they are on the screen, but so hastily edited together that, at times, the ingenuity seems out of place for such a weird flick.

The Film Detective resurrects Voodoo Black Exorcist from its unearthly grave for this its HD debut.  A rare archival 35mm print was used for the film’s 2K scan and restoration.  The work that went into restoring this no-budget thriller is definitely noticeable and will make b-movie lovers salivate.  

While slight, Voodoo Black Exorcist still manages to be a rare discovery of ‘70s Euro trash at its … cheapest.

Voodoo Black Exorcist - Blu-ray review

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime:
88 mins
Director
: Manuel Caño
Writer:
Santiago Moncada
Cast:
Aldo Sambrell, Tanyeka Stadler, Alexander Abrahan
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
This dude means business, so watch out when your nerves start to shatter!
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Horizon Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
May, 1975
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 23, 2017
Synopsis: The mummy of a Caribbean voodoo priest stalks the passengers of a South Seas ocean liner in this sexy, quirky, '70s Euro horror-thriller from director Manuel Caño (The Swamp of the Ravens) and producer José Antonio Perez Giner (Tombs of the Blind Dead).

 

Voodoo Black Exorcist - Blu-ray review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: The Film Detective
Available on Blu-ray
- May 23, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Region A

Voodoo Black Exorcist is presented on 1080p with a 2K restoration from The Film Detective.  It has an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and supports a Dolby digital soundtrack.  The colors are a bit muted do the age of the 35mm archival print used for the transfer.  The new high-definition transfer has been culled from the best surviving print of the film and it shows with lack of depth and a dullness to some of the shots.  The black levels are a bit wavering and shadows become crushing at some parts.  Skin tones are pale and colors, other than the red-hued flashback design, are a bit muted.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

None

Voodoo Black Exorcist - Blu-ray review

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