FORMAT: DIGITAL / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 9TH
If you’re old enough to remember walking into a video store and coming out with a film you’ve never heard of but looks great from the cover art, you may get a jolt of nostalgia with Voodoo Apocalypse. That feeling is intentional. The look and feel of the movie are that of a low budget, dubbed exploitation flick that wouldn’t trouble any reference book. Fortunately, even those young enough not to have been in that scenario will still get a massive kick out of this.
It’s 1979, and rookie cop White Chocolate (Sergio G. Ramos) is tasked with finding top cop Charlie Vargas (José J. Ramallo), who disappeared following the death of his partner. The pair must track down gang leader Papa Voodoo (Victor Hubara), who is turning people into zombies with his groovy music.
If that synopsis sounds wildly inconceivable yet familiar, well it is. But gloriously so. It’s packed full of zombies (pasty-faced rather than decomposing), Luchadores, high-kicking action, and unconvincing back projection (complete with reel markers). In short, everything that’s needed for a great cult film. Almost everything hits its mark, and while it might not be as laugh-out-loud funny as originators of the style (think Police Squad!), it’s still pitch-perfect when spoofing the type of grindhouse movies that have influenced it.
We could have done without the fake image blemishes that are supposed to make it look like a ‘70s film (the colour grading and acting do that well enough), but they don’t detract from the astute writing and on-mark acting. A particular favourite of ours was the Police Chief, Blackman (Jorge Galván), who shouts his dialogue. A bit of toilet humour - literally - raises quite a giggle too.
Director Vasni Ramos - who co-wrote with the two main actors - recreates the essence of a grindhouse movie perfectly, without having to resort to ‘missing reels’. Anyone with a penchant for the era will get a massive kung-fu kick out of Voodoo Apocalypse.