The usual voodoo tale back in the day featured a blonde, Nordic heroine falling under the spell of Creole-speaking blacks in the tropics.
Columbia's 1934 shocker Black Moon goes a different route, with its leading female character, Juanita Perez, actually yearning to return to the island of San Christopher, where she grew up. Having never gotten the jungle out of her system, we first see her at home hypnotically playing a jungle drum for her enraptured seven year-old daughter Nancy.
|My mother, the voodoo priestess.|
Just to make things more explicit, her husband, Stephen Lane, is rich, kind, a devoted husband and father, a captain of industry, and very white. Even his secretary, Gail, is in love with him. I want to be Stephen Lane.
The only thing wrong with him is that he lets little Nancy accompany Juanita (along with Gail and a nurse) for a three-week stay on San Christopher -- just another example of a man lacking a woman's intuition.
|A vacation souvenir you don't want to see.|
Juanita, you see, has been spending more and more time on nighttime walks, returning glassy-eyed and woozy. While my excuse for such behavior involves the corner bar on 50-cent shot nights, Juanita has been sucked back into the voodoo world (where, according to Uncle John, her nursemaid Ruva took her to ceremonies as a child, where she first "tasted blood." Trust me, 50-cent shots do the trick better.)
|That isn't Alka-Seltzer she's|
putting into hubby's water glass.
|"Just close your eyes, kid, you|
won't feel a thing."
An extremely entertaining, well-made picture with effective black & white cinematography, Black Moon was wild enough to get it banned in the UK. There's violence aplenty, with the aftermath of the nurse's tar pit death particularly gruesome, while Uncle Jack's treatment of blacks rivals what you'd see at Trump rallies. (Uncle Jack, meanwhile, might be the first person in talkies to utter the immortal line, "The natives are restless tonight." Gee, I wonder why, Skippy.)
|"Look, Jack, aren't there any shorts|
around here? I'm getting a rash behind
Then you have Juanita, who's forgets to wear certain undergarments while wearing slinky, see-through dresses. As usual in pre-code movies, everybody seems to have packed their finest clothes for this hot, humid hellhole that lacks even an Applebee's. Even Stephen and Uncle Jack dine in formal-wear even though they never leave the house. You're white, we get it.
|"Remember, boss, I'm on your side."|
|Gail, Stephen and Nancy consider |
using Trivago for their next trip
No problem -- Gail winds up with Jack after he shoots his wife to death. That's one way of landing a husband.