Reviews
Voodoo Woman (1957) 1 brain
(USA)

Alternate Titles:

La Mujer Vudú


One can extract deep meaning from Voodoo Woman with a little effort and a lot of charity, but anything gleaned would be overwhelmed by the sheer mockability of the movie. From the horribly written native characters to the bad acting of the leads to the cheap-looking costumes and sets, there can be no doubt that this movie was cranked out on a shoestring budget. It's a bit of a shame, because the ideas, although not particularly original, could have been used effectively in the right movie. This was not that movie.

The ideas that the movie seems to be giving are that you can't change someone's basic nature, and you can't completely control someone else. These are rather interesting ideas for a film like this, since voodoo zombies are almost by definition mindless slaves. So in a way this is an anti-zombie film.

The film features a mad scientist, Dr. Roland Gerard (Tom Conway), who wants to combine the magic of voodoo and modern science to transform people into scary monsters that will do his bidding. He's fits the prototype quite well, down to the part where he says, "They all laughed at me. But I'll show them!" He lives in a house in the jungle, keeping his wife Susan (Mary Ellen Kay) under guard so she doesn't leave him. At first he's just possessive, but once she figures out what he's doing, he's also afraid that she'll alert the authorities and stop his research. The first subject of his experiments is a native girl, the daughter of a chief. She transforms into a powerful monster, but when he orders her to kill, the spell is broken, since this goes against her fundamental nature. He realizes that in order to get his monster to kill, he has to use a subject who has no qualms about killing. One might ask what the point of mind control is if you have to get a subject that would do what you want anyway. One might also just watch a different movie.

Enter Marilyn Blanchard (Marla English), a femme fatale who certainly has no qualms about killing, since she just disposed of a business associate in order to come steal the treasure she's convinved he's seeking in the jungle. She's accompanied by her partner in crime, Rick Brady (Lance Fuller), and an unwitting guide, man of the world Ted Bronson (played by "Touch" Connors; what does that name mean? Who knows). Connors is a sort of decent actor, but the rest of the cast is pretty cut-rate. It turns out that the tribe Ms. Blanchard is looking for is the one Dr. Gerard lives with, which brings things to a head. Will the doctor's experiment finally succeed? Will Blanchard find the treasure? Will Bronson be able to stop all the evil that surrounds him? If you can't guess, I really wouldn't recommend watching the film anyway.