BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Voodoo Man (1944) - Blu-ray Review

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Voodo Man (1944) - Blu-ray Review

3 beers

Bela Lugosi. George Zucco. John Carradine. Why wouldn’t a Horror Hound NOT want to check out director William Beaudine’s Voodoo Man? Of course, there are plenty of things wrong with this unintentionally campy horror flick BUT it’s all so perfectly harmless that you can’t help but give Monogram Pictures B-plus picture a pass … under the right influences.

In the film, Lugosi plays Dr. Richard Marlowe and the good doctor is, you guessed it, not so good. He’s working with an aching heart as he and his thugs – Grego (Pat McKee) and Toby (Carradine) – kidnap beautiful women travelling alone on Laurel road and hypnotize them. Marlowe’s macabre plan involves bringing his dead wife (played by Ellen Hall) back from the great beyond. He just needs these ladies – luscious-looking as they are in their long-flowing gowns – to be completely without their own mind.

Of course, Dr. Marlowe never expected a Hollywood screenwriter (Tod Andrews) to investigate the location where all these women disappear. When the young man encounters Nicholas (Zucco) and his own henchman at an out-of-the-way gas station and finds himself stranded along the side of the road just like all the other girls, he gets the narrative he never expected: one that involves his fiancée and her maid of honor (a very saucy Wanda McKay).

It is – as he suggests to his producer when he turns it in – a movie that could only star Lugosi.

So, with Voodoo Man audiences get a glimpse of what the meta-minded future would hold for fans of horror. It’s tongue-in-cheek to be sure, but the thrills are there throughout. Most of the horror; however, is undercut by the humorous antics and comments of the cops who, ultimately, bring about the end of Voodoo Man’s reign but, damn, their bits are pretty stupid and hilarious. Almost cringe-worthy.

But pay no mind to them. The real focus of Voodoo Man is Lugosi who, in 1944, was churning out some pretty strong performances. The Hungarian-American actor, famous for his performance in the original 1931 version of Dracula, struggled to find his way through the shadowed corners of his career.

Some might argue that he actually sought out those dark corners.

Regardless of the opinion, over a decade after the highs of being Count Dracula, Lugosi was a bit disillusioned by Hollywood’s typecasting and was well on his way to developing a nasty addiction to morphine and methadone. His role in Voodoo Man might not have helped any of his struggles BUT, as a low grade thriller, his contribution to the thriller does enough to make it worthy of 60-minutes of your time.

Get hypnotized by the thunder-drumming seven-day shoot of Voodoo Man, offered on blu-ray courtesy of Olive Films.

Voodo Man (1944) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
61 mins
Director
: William Beaudine
Writer:
Robert Charles
Cast:
Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, George Zucco
Genre
: Horror | Mystery
Tagline:
YOU DARE NOT LOOK INTO HIS EYES!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Don't hurt her, Grego, she's a pretty one!"
Distributor:
Monogram Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
February 21, 1944
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 24, 2015
Synopsis: Dr. Richard Marlowe uses a combination of voodoo rite and hypnotic suggestion to attempt to revivify his beautiful, but long-dead wife, by transferring the life essences of several hapless young girls he has kidnapped and imprisoned in the dungeon beneath his mansion.

Voodo Man (1944) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - November 24, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.37:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Olive Films releases a surprisingly strong 1080p transfer of Voodoo Man. With little remastering done behind the scenes, the black-and-while transfer is crisp and filmic with very little visible abrasions. The women look stunning and the sets – while meager – are interesting enough for this low grade B picture. The audio is presented in an adequate DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • Nope

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