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As usual Zucco and Lugosi are as evil and camp as ever! Here young girls are abducted and turned into Zombies to return Lugosi's dead wife back to life by trying to sacrifice their souls and spirit to a voodoo god! Very well done. A classic horror.
Lugosi again, in one of his later efforts, squeezing every last drop out of his "hypnotizing eyes" routine. Nubile young women are disappearing around town and no one seems to know why. Could it be the new doctor nobody knows at the edge of town? Most of the action here involves the "voodoo" ceremony itself, with lots of bugged eyes and chanting going on. I imagine the cast had a good laugh at all the antics. I hope they did. Released in 1944.
After a fun start, this low-budget cheapie becomes boring and ridiculous.
Pretty young women become missing after they stop at a filing station in a small town. The station's owner/manager Nicholas (George Zucco) is in cahoots with mad Doctor Marlowe (Lugosi), who collects young women for a twisted menagerie with the help of two henchmen, Toby (John Carradine's goofiest role ever), and Grego (Pat McKee). Marlowe's plot to revive a semi-dead wife through the methods of bizarre magical ritual (ostensibly referred to later as "Voodoo") unravels when Hollywood screenwriter Ralph Dawson (Tod Andrews) forgets to put gas in his tank, and hitches a ride with one of the would-be victims Stella Saunders (Louise Currie). Coincidentally, Stella happens to be driving to her friend Betty Benton's (Wanda McKay) wedding to Ralph (the "poor sop"). The goons sideline their victims using a road closed blockade, and Marlowe is able to monitor what happens on his property with some pretty high quality closed circuit TV. He uses the gizmos in his high voltage laboratory to shut down the engines of his victim's cars. Ralph goes for help, and meanwhile the goons abduct Stella.
In the bowels of Dr. Marlowe's mansion, Marlow and gas station owner Nicholas, who seems to be wearing the same wizardry paraphernalia as Professor Marvel wore in the Wizard of Oz, in a ritual that requires John Carradine to play the bongo (so bad, it's hilarious) are trying to transfer the life essence of the comely abductees into his comely "dead" wife. Ralph thinks Stella has ditched him, so he walks to his fiancee Betty's (Wanda McKay) house. Neither Betty nor her mother Mrs. Benton (Mary Currier) have seen Stella. At about midnight, they decide to call the Sheriff (Henry Hall). Sheriff and Deputy Elmer (Dan White) pay the respected Dr. Marlowe a visit. He denies knowing what they're talking about. Driving back to town, they pick up Stella wearing a distinctive white nighty. Stella escaped because of Toby's incompetence. Toby is beaten, but Stella is brought to the safety of the Benton's home.
Marlowe uses his psychic powers combined with his magic rituals to lure Stella back to his pad. Ralph and Betty drive to Dr. Marlowe's house to see if he has seen Stella. While in the company of Dr. Marlowe, Betty sees Marlowe's "dead" wife walking around in the same distinctive white nighty that they found Stella wearing. She pokes Ralph so he will see, too. For some reason they don't mention the distinctive white nighty until quite a bit later at a diner, as if it wasn't all that important.
Eventually Ralph and Betty, whose powers of perception are like a steel trap, decide the distinctive white nighty really was important enough to warrant another call to the Sheriff. While Ralph is calling Sheriff from a phone booth at the diner, Marlowe's mind control (he's using sympathetic magic on one of Betty' white gloves she must have left in his living room) causes Betty to leave the diner and drive to his mansion, where he takes her prisoner. Ralph recruits the services of a good Samaritan with a car to tail her to Marlowe's estate. Inside, one of Marlowe's goons cold-cocks Ralph, so he's down for the count while Marlowe performs another life essence transference experiment, this time using Betty as a subject.
The sheriff and Deputy Elmer arrive just in time. Marlowe attempts to throw a knife at the sheriff, but the sheriff shoots Marlowe. The whole ceremony is thrown off. Sheriff and Deputy arrest everyone. Mrs. Marlowe dies again, this time probably more thoroughly, while all of the female prisoners awake from their trance. Back in Hollywood, Ralph gives his editor a script based on the preceding events that are entirely true, as his new bride Betty will testify. But, who should play the leading part? "Give it to Bella Lugosi," says Ralph in the final line.
This film is one of Lugosi's cheesiest performances, ranking right down there with The Bat. For a much better Voodoo Lugosi, see White Zombie, instead. The dialogue throughout was very amateur, with lines such as "He gave me the barber shop monologue," or, "and did you notice she wore the same dress Stella was wearing?" But to see John Carradine playing the bongos with a slack hand made it all worthwhile.
Lol rifftrax/cinematic titanic/mst3k is responsible for the many horrid films I've seen
Lugosi, Carradine, Zuccoo, Voodoo, Science, and a Piece of String--Doesn't get any better than this!!
In order to restore his zombified wife, a doctor practitioner of voodoo kidnaps young women and places them in a state of suspended animation. A cheap horror starring Lugosi who is not believable as a doctor named Marlowe, but still injects some charisma in this slow moving film filled with schlocks.
The plot is thin and the characters are hollow, so there really isn't much to this film. Lugosi has his typical role and plays it well, but the overall shabby ending and slow progression just make the overall movie a bore.
I think I've said this elsewhere (or in other reviews), but I always felt sorry for poor Bela Lugosi. His work post-Dracula was mostly terrible, to be sure. Voodoo Man is not much of an exception, and it's pretty much the same plot as most horror movies in those days. It isn't unique really at all. It's fairly well-made, I suppose, but it's nothing special. Bela is his usual self, giving a creepy performance, but never equalling what he did in Dracula. The Rifftrax version is a very funny take on the movie, if you're interested in poking fun at the movie for its unintentional comedy. Otherwise, you'd have to be a die-hard horror fan to watch it.
Another sadly painful Lugosi flick, "Voodoo Man" drags on at a pace in which even John Carradine can't speed up with his creepy limping around on set. Overall a rushed and boring film that can only be made better by mocking.