Curse Of The Voodoo
A stock and schlock British chiller, thriller from the sixties. Schlock horror from maverick Canadian Director Lindsay Shonteff, with stock wildlife footage integrated into an African backdrop setting. A slow paced excursion that delves into the world beyond the tangible, and into that of tribal voodooists. Only the bold and the brave dare dismiss … The Curse Of The Voodoo !.
Mike Stacey (Bryant Haliday) is a big game hunter out in Africa with a party of people, headed up by experienced resident hunter and tracker friend Major Lomas (Dennis Price), who has to hunt down and finish the kill of a lion, shot by an inexperienced guy out for the thrill of the kill. Stacey treks off into the bush land with one of his native trackers, crossing over into the lands of the Simbaza tribe. The Simbaza being practitioners of voodoo, and worshipers of the mighty lion, a beast that is sacred to their beliefs.
The wounded lion is shot and killed by Mike Stacey deep into Simbaza territory, but not before Stacey is injured himself during the hunt, and the Simbaza very quickly become aware of the act. Stacey and his hunting party are paid a visit by the natives that very evening at their camp. Squaring up to Stacey the Simbaza witch doctor visually sizes him up. The imposing warriors then turn away from the camp and disappear back into the jungle whence they came. Back at the Simbaza camp the witch doctor begins to formulate a curse to place upon Stacey. A curse of voodoo !.
Concerned for his friends wellbeing Major Lomas warns Mike Stacey of the Simbaza tribes reverence of the mighty lion and of their practices in voodoo. Typically staunch, stiff upper lipped Brit Stacey dismisses such talk as nonsense. Stacey returns home to England to rest and recover from his shoulder wound which has become infected. Upon his return Stacey learns that his wife has moved out of their home, and taken their son with her. Mike Stacey pays a visit to his mother in law to seek his wife and son out, and discovers that they are indeed staying with her. Stacey’s wife has had enough with him disappearing off for long periods on safari’s and big game hunts around the world, leaving her and their son alone.
Stacey starts to experience unease and hallucinations. Visions of Simbaza warriors chasing him, and the audible presence of a lion baying for flesh. With the infection in his wound sapping his strength, and bringing a fever to his brow, Stacey’s wife comes to his aid and calls upon a home visit doctor for assistance. The doctor does all that he can, but becomes perplexed at why the wound fails to heal.
During this time, of Mike Stacey slipping into a state of failing health, back in Africa Stacey’s tracker, who was with him for the killing of the lion, is bound and tortured by the Simbaza tribesman who placed the curse upon the white hunter. The petrified native tracker being used as a living mirror representation of Stacey, for the practices of a human voodoo doll !.
This is a slow building British chiller with a tinge of horror running through its celluloid veins. It’s black and white film stock perfectly weathering the look and feel of the movie into this modern day. It’s tale is a simple one yet harkens back to the earlier still style of a Val Lewton production. Inference is the key to the movies air of unease, rather than cheaply delivered shocks. A low budget rarely shown picture that would have been the perfect second tier movie on a double bill feature.
The film follows Mike Stacey’s decent into ever decreasing poor health, until the point of near death from the mysterious ailment that eats away at his physical being. His wife visits an expert in African beliefs and practices in voodoo, to be informed that the only way for her husband to end the Curse Of The Voodoo is for her husband to kill the Simbaza who has placed the curse upon him.
Summoning up the last remnants of energy within his ailing body Mike Stacey returns to Africa in order to seek out the Simbaza, and one way or another bring an end to the suffering. The movie ends in a dark and violent tone.
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