Voodoo Woman
©1956 Carmel Productions (Renewed 1984 by Selma Enterprises)


Genre: Horror

Rating: NR

Dr. Roland Gerard (Tom Conway) lives amongst a group of African natives, studying the voodoo rituals of their leader Chaka (Martin Wilkins), while keeping his wife Susan (Mary Ellen Kay) a prisoner. The mad doctor is trying to combine voodoo magic with his own twisted science to transform the beautiful Zuranda (Jean Davis) into an unstoppable monster. Meanwhile, in a nearby town, Marilyn Blanchard (Marla English) hatches an evil plot of her own. Her boyfriend Rick Brady (Lance Fuller) has been hired by Harry West (Norman Willis) to help him search for voodoo totems laced with gold. However, Marilyn wants the gold for herself and murders Harry in cold blood. Searching Harry’s room, Marilyn and Rick find maps and drawings leading to the gold so Rick poses as Harry to get Ted Bronson (Mike Connors) to guide them into the jungle. Meanwhile, Dr. Gerard succeeds in transforming Zuranda into a telepathically controlled monster and sends her to attack a nearby village. When the natives discover what Gerard has done, they demand his death but he appeases them by offering to send Zuranda to kill the approaching white men. However, that night, when he orders Zuranda to kill Ted and Marilyn, he discovers that he can’t make her do anything she’s against. Frustrated, he releases Zuranda but on her way back to her village she is attacked and killed by Rick. When the natives find Zuranda’s body, they call for the death of all the white men, including Gerard, but they are satisfied when Marilyn offers them the man responsible for Zuranda’s death and coldly shoots Rick. Sensing that Marilyn is the killer he’s looking for, Gerard insists that she and Ted join him for a few days. Marilyn accepts, to get closer to the gold, but Ted must be ‘convinced’ at spear point. Telling Marilyn that she can claim all the native’s gold by becoming a voodoo priestess, Gerard tricks her into undergoing the ritual that transforms her into a monster like Zuranda. Meanwhile, Ted and Susan try to escape but are captured by the natives, who plan to use them in a blood sacrifice. The natives demand that Gerard be sacrificed too but he orders the monstrous Marilyn to attack them and Ted and Susan escape in the confusion. Unfortunately, once the battle is done, Marilyn’s greed surfaces and she kills Gerard when she learns that the only gold the natives had went into the sacrificial pit with Chaka. Moments later, her greed leads to her own demise as she falls into the pit while trying to retrieve the gold.

Type of mind control: Voodoo

Mind control scenes:
There are several of mind control scenes of Dr. Gerard telepathically controlling Zuranda and then Marilyn. Most of the mind control is done while they are monsters but a couple of scenes show them being controlled in their human forms. The three major mind control scenes are when Dr. Gerard sends Zuranda to attack the village, when he tells her to kill Ted and Marilyn, and when he tells Marilyn to attack the natives. All these take place when Zuranda and Marilyn are monsters.

Subjective Rating: 2 out of 5
The mind control in this movie is a minor plot device and the movie could have survived just as well without it. In fact, if they hadn't briefly demonstrated Dr. Gerard controlling Zuranda and Marilyn while they were human, I would have considered their obedience to be part of their transformation and questioned whether it was really mind control or not, especially since the control seems so tenuous. Even with those brief demonstrations, I'd skip the movie unless you like watching a man order around a seven-foot tall scaly monster.

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