Spanish filmmaker Jesús Franco (Jess Franco) had an extensive career in cinema that spanned nearly six decades. A lifetime of work, putting it all into perspective, it is estimated he made 159 films, and during his peak years, averaged around 9 films per year. Difficult to imagine one filmmaker being that prolific, he dabbled in various genres ranging from Horror to Action to Thriller, and even Erotic. A very broad spectrum, he never limited himself… and at times stirred all his sub-genres of interest into one pot. This would be the case for his 1977 film Voodoo Passion.
Going under several titles in different parts of the world (including Call of The Blonde Goddess and Porno Shock), Voodoo Passion initially premiered in West Germany in December of ’77, followed by Austria in ’78, France in ’79, before other countries (such as Franco’s native Spain) in ’81. As mentioned, a hybrid of styles Franco had worked within in the years prior and thereafter, Voodoo Passion is best described as an Erotic Thriller with elements of Mystery and even Horror. A real mixture, the key cast includes Ada Tauler (The Fish with the Eyes of Gold 1974, Love Camp 1977) as the lead, Mrs. Susan House, Jack Taylor (Female Vampire 1973, Pieces 1982) as her power wheedling husband Mr. Jack House, Karine Gambier (Secrets of a French Maid 1980, Caged Woman 1980) as the mysterious, lustful Olga, and Muriel Montossé aka Vicky Adams (Nuits très chaudes aux Caraïbes 1979, The Inconfessable Orgies of Emmanuelle 1982) as the warner of nefarious activity, Inês.
Together these five key characters bring together a story that unifies seduction and danger; all while blurring the lines between reality with fantasy. In short, Susan, a dedicated wife, travels to be with her husband Jack in Haiti. In a land of different cultural customs, she soon finds herself curious about voodoo… but it leads down a road of lust and potentially murderous consequences. Is Susan’s mind deceiving her, or are far more sinister forces controlling her?
An interesting concept, Franco does a fine job of balancing the highly sexual nature of the film’s plot with more tension building elements. Above all, his directorial approach is nothing less than artful while matched with the extremely unique cinematography of Andreas Demmer. This in mind, some may discount Voodoo Passion as sleazy, but there is no denying the artistic quality and efforts put into it. There is a distinctive mood, the dream-like elements are effective, and the camerawork is impressive.
Everything explained, the film may have been difficult to come by domestically in the United States for many years. However, in 2017 Full Moon Features released it on DVD, but now in 2024 prepare to offer Voodoo Passion on Blu-ray. Set for release on February 6th, the new Blu-ray release offers the film in a region free format, but most importantly, presents it uncut and remastered in HD from Producer Erwin C. Dietrich’s original negatives.
With this you are offered the film in a very clean, pristine presentation and superb sound quality. Additionally, you get an interview with Jess Franco, a rare photo slideshow, some vintage trailers, and Porno Shock artwork selected as the Blu-ray slipcover. Each features very appealing to Franco fans, in-all, this is probably the best edition of Voodoo Passion to ever be released. As alluded to, if you are a fan of Horror/Thrillers, but are also not prude, this film could be of some interest to you. Something you might have not been aware of, but thanks to Full Moon Features now are, Cryptic Rock gives the Blu-ray release of Voodoo Passion 4 out of 5 stars.