Voodoo Man (1944) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: William Beaudine
Starring: Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, George Zucco
Rated: UR/Region A/1:37/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Olive Films
Bela Lugosi (Dracula) stars as Dr. Richard Marlowe, a “mad” scientist intent on bringing his late wife Evelyn (Ellen Hall, Lawless Code) back from the dead using voodoo magic in the atmospheric chiller, Voodoo Man directed by William Beaudine (The Panther’s Claw). By using the essences of the young women he’s captured and aided by his associates Nicholas (George Zucco, House of Frankenstein) and Toby (John Carradine, Son of Frankenstein), the voodoo doctor will find his plan jeopardized by the derring-do of intrepid screenwriter Ralph Dawson (Michael Ames, Hang ‘Em High).
Bela Lugosi is the man. It is as simple as that really. No matter if it was a more popular movie or a movie like this one where things seem to get a little “wink wink” at the person watching at times, he seems to always be a joy and I’ve never seen the man in a role I didn’t enjoy. Heck, I’ve seen many movies where he was the best part of it and he does his job here, but I’m also happy to say we get a bit more from other characters in this strange 1944 black and white affair. This tale of voodoo is a bit of a moody film. I think we get this strange and awkward vibe from it more times than not. The black and white seems to add to that and it gives you that same atmosphere about every old black and white movie gives you when you watch it late at night alone in a dark house, which is how I’d suggest anyone watch a movie like this. There are some creepy moments, there are some goofy moments, but above all else it entertains us more times than not and you can never go wrong with a movie that can do just that. I’m not saying this is the best movie you will find Bela Lugosi in, but it is one that gives you a bit of a different take from a man who could do a lot more besides just be Dracula.
I wish Olive would have given us some sorta extras here. If nothing else, I wish they’d start finding some talking heads to just do some conversations about these types of films if finding people from the movie is near impossible. Anyway, the movie looks good in HD. It doesn’t look as good as some might want, but it is from 1944 and it is what it is. I don’t think it at all takes away from the movie overall and I also don’t think you will find this movie looking any bit better anywhere else on any other release anyhow. I overall dig what this one has to offer, mostly for the mood, but also because of Bela Lugosi. I know it may be a bit hit and miss with most, but I think if you like the golden age of horror films you will be happy with what you find with this film and from this release overall.
Quality of Transfer: 79%