Good Voodoo Movies

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 4:48 pm

This list of good voodoo movies details some of the darker goings-on in places such as New Orleans and Haiti. While most fall squarely in the horror movie category, I did add a few non-scary films for the sake of variety. If you’re ready for a little celluloid magic, grab your bag of Gris-gris, curl up with your favorite voodoo queen, and prepare to explore the darkest depths of cinema.

You can rent these good voodoo movies from Netflix, and we’ll get a small commission for sending you their way. Running this site isn’t free, so it’s a great way to help keep us in business. But enough of my groveling; let’s take a look at some of the good voodoo movies available.

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) – Directed by Wes Craven and starring Bill Pullman, this film follows the disturbing adventures of anthropologist Denis Alan as he travels to Haiti to seek out a strange drug said to be able to create zombies. Does he find what he’s looking for? Yes. Does he get involved in things far darker than he imagined? Hell, yes.

Angel Heart (1987) – A New York private detective named Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) is hired to track down a missing crooner by the name of Johnny Favorite. Harry’s search leads him to New Orleans where he rubs elbows with devil worshippers and voodoo practitioners, all the while getting closer to learning a horrible secret. Set in 1955, Robert De Niro almost steals the show as Harry’s sinister client, Louis Cyphre. I’ll admit that there isn’t much voodoo in the film, but it is mentioned, so it gets a spot on the list.

White Zombie (1932) – Considered to be the first feature-length zombie movie, the film revolves around a young woman arriving in Haiti to be reunited with her fiancee. But things don’t go smoothly when the happy couple comes to the attention of Murder Legendre (Bela Lugosi), an evil voodoo practitioner who owns a sugar mill filled with zombies. The popular ’90s heavy metal band was named after this film.

Scared Stiff (1953) – Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis star in this comedy that features a trip to Cuba, a zombie, and a gangster named Shorty. Look for Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in a cameo near the film’s end.

Voodoo Dawn (1990) – Adapted from a pulp horror novel by the late John Russo (Alien, Return of the Living Dead), Tony Todd stars as a voodoo priest in the Deep South who’s turning the migrant farm workers into flesh-crazy zombies. Gina Gershon stars as a college student who tries to put an end to this madness.

I Walked with a Zombie (1943) – A classic from producer Val Lewton (The Cat People). A gentle nurse gets turned into a zombie while working at a sugar plantation in the Caribbean. You’d think people trapped in a horror movie would know better than to live in the Caribbean.

Tales from the Hood (1995) – In one of the film’s many tales of terror, a racist senator and former Klansman (Corbin Bernsen) gets taught a lesson by a voodoo witch and her collection of dolls inhabited by the spirits of tortured slaves.

Crossroads (1986) – A young guitar player fascinated with the blues (Ralph Macchio) teams up with an elderly harmonica player known to have been friends with the legendary Robert Johnson. Johnson was believed to have sold his soul to the devil, and the duo eventually finds themselves at a Mississippi crossroads. After Papa Legba (aka Scratch) is called forth, the young man agrees to engage in a guitar duel with a “big ‘ol white boy named Jack Butler” in order to save his elderly friend’s immortal spirit. Butler, by the way, is portrayed by guitar god Steve Vai, and the film’s final 15 minutes are easily the best.

In case you thought I forgot about it, let me point out that 1987’s The Believers, starring Martin Sheen, deals with Brujeria instead of Voodoo. That might sound like splitting hairs, but I don’t want some pissed-off cultist throwing a spell on me.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 1st, 2010 at 4:48 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Good Voodoo Movies”

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February 2, 2010

Ballard Andy White

That Martin Sheen is a heckuva actor. I wish he’d run for president. And maybe Rip Torn could be his running mate.

In fact, maybe they could make a new voodoo movie where Martin Sheen plays the president, and Rip Torn is a voodoo witch doctor.

February 3, 2010

Shane

I think the world would be a much simpler place if everyone who played the President in a film actually got to serve a four-year term.

Your idea about the President of the United States vs. a voodoo witch doctor is pretty original. Maybe they were once friends, but they had a falling out in college over a woman. One turned to politics, and the other turned to…voodoo. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

February 5, 2010

Ballard Andy White

I like it! We should collaborate.

February 6, 2010

Shane

You’re not talking about voodoo, are you?

June 13, 2010

Meghna

Another good recent voodoo movie: The Skeleton Key

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