I’ve seen several of Franco’s films now, and I have to say: the man definitely likes to diversify his softcore premises. No idea what I’m talking about? Let’s break down Franco’s films: he does just about every type of exploitation subgenre available: Sexploitation, Nunsploitation, Goresploitation, etc. There are not many angles he won’t use to show flesh in his films, which is why many fans call him the Eurosleaze King.
VOODOO PASSION is one of his better films, in my opinion. While this one has just as much skin as any other Franco flick, it comes across as less hokey, and the plotline builds more tension than in previous works. I’m not sure why this one stands out from the rest, however it is evident that this is more of a horror flick and less of the softcore variety.
If you are not familiar with VOODOO PASSION, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Full Moon Features:
Eurosleaze maverick Jess Franco and producer Erwin C. Dietrich team up again for Voodoo Passion (aka Call of the Blonde Goddess and Porno Shock), a voyeuristic, sex-soaked thriller that veers wildly between reality and fantasy.
Actress Ada Tauler stars as Susan, who arrives in Haiti to live with her new husband Jack (Franco regular Jack Taylor from Female Vampire), who has an apparently unhealthy, possibly incestuous relationship with his sister Olga. Getting lost in a fever dream of sexual delirium, Susan suddenly finds herself lost in a weird world of black magic, clandestine couplings and bloody voodoo rituals, all the while her possibly sinister housekeeper (Muriel Motosse) looks on lustfully. More coherent then many of Franco’s dream-state erotic horror films, Voodoo Passion also stars frequent collaborator Karine Gambier and features a groovy score by Walter Baumgartner (Franco’s Jack the Ripper).
The film is presented fully uncut and digitally remastered from Dietrich’s original negative.
I’ve mentioned before, but I’ll reiterate: I’m glad Full Moon has many of Franco’s films available to purchase. They are doing a great job of keeping exploitation films alive and well, for existing fans and future cinema lovers alike.
VOODOO PASSION is shot very much like Franco’s previous films. The cinematography does a great job of capturing the details of the sets, while still focusing primarily on the characters (and the nudity) in each scene. And speaking of skin, this film has plenty of it. Fans of Franco’s love of the female form will certainly be entertained here.
The acting is not great, however it doesn’t really detract from the film. Nobody gives an outstanding performance, however neither does anybody suck bad enough to take away from the plot.
The special effects in VOODOO PASSION are again minimal but still look decent enough. A couple of chickens have their heads cut off, and I’d swear they are real…however I cannot confirm that. The blood looks semi-realistic, at least.
The plot is truly tension-filled, and I like how quickly it moves along. Some of Franco’s films tend to drag, however this one does not. The flow is nice and steady, offering up plenty of terrifying moments and some truly stressful situations.
VOODOO PASSION is a big win for me, and it ranks up at the top of my list of Franco films. It won’t be for everybody, but if you’re a fan of Eurosleaze or Franco in general, you should definitely check this one out. It is available now.