Sunday, October 17, 2010


When her father dies, Sylvia returns from New York to her family's Jamaican banana plantation to take over the business, which irritates her half-sister Isabelle who lives in Jamaica and wanted it. Isabelle goes underground and plots to use voodoo, or more precisely "obeah," to get rid of her (hence the reason this film is mentioned in horror film guides). However, it turns out that Isabelle doesn’t really practice obeah; she's just going to fake it, giving Sylvia an herbal drink to put her in a trance and hoping that scares her away. There’s a subplot involving Philip, who is stealing from the plantation, and John, a man in whom both Sylvia and Isabelle are interested; the two men indulge in one of the most awkward fistfights in movie history. Comic relief is provided by a character named Percy Jackson (no relation to the most recent Hollywood character to try to become the next Harry Potter) who thinks that his soul has been transplanted into a pig. This low-budget production with an all-black cast is slow-moving and lacks any real atmosphere; the obeah rites presented are diverting, but knowing from the get-go that Isabelle is faking everything drains any tension from the film, and there are rather unlikely happy endings for most everyone. Emmett Wallace as John and Hamtree Harrington as Percy are watchable, and this movie is of some interest to film buffs for the appearance of cult actress Nina Mae McKinney (pictured) as Isabelle--she is best known for starring in the first all-black musical, Hallelujah--but this would be a disappointing film for someone expecting a scary voodoo flick. [DVD]

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