The Disembodied (1957)
Voodoo rituals and a writhing Allison Hayes moving to the beat of the drums? Damned if I’m not about to volunteer to have my custom made voodoo doll stuck with a pin.
Just what Allison is doing in the middle of the jungle married to am elderly gent is anyone’s guess. But one things for certain, she isn’t happy and from the onset is dabbling in voodoo dolls. She’s got a special one made up of her dear hubby played by John Wengraf that she’s seen tightening a noose on as the film opens while Wengraf sits out on the porch struggling to catch his breath.
Let’s not commit to killing him just yet. Allison, decked out in a silky smooth outfit keeps a dagger pinned to her belt for effect but it will come in very handy when she goes Barbara Stanwyck on the man she’s pegged as her new lover/savior from “living like an animal” in the jungle (that’s meant to be a Lugosi reference. Weak I know). Hold on, I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Yes Allison wants out and when three men on Safari arrive at her hubby’s plantation she firmly sets her sights and sexual desires on Paul Burke. Not sure if I should say lucky bastard or poor bastard. I mean she is a bit possessive in that Stanwyck kind of way when it comes to the men in her life. Of the trio, one has been severely attacked by a lion and is near death despite the efforts of Doctor hubby to save the man. Leave it to the voodoo magic of our leading lady to not only save the man but bring him under her spell.
Time for some black magic dancing and voodoo chanting with our leading lady.
In order to save the dying man, Miss Hayes, will need a live male subject for her voodoo ritual. The end result being that the wounds of the lion disappear from actor Robert Christopher and appear on his “volunteer”, Dean Fredericks. Of course poor Fredericks is murdered in the ritual while Christopher only awakens to be under Allison’s domineering control. Now if she could just get her sexual appetite looked after with Mr. Burke, who clearly sees that she’s a bit of a looney toon with murderous tendencies.
Maybe some old fashioned spells might do the trick.
At just 66 minutes, this Allied Artists feature is a paint by the numbers plot and if there’s a lot of pictures here of lovely Allison, that’s because there really isn’t much further to say about this Walter Grauman directed feature that I’m sure would have played nicely for the male population attending the local drive-in circuits of 1957. For the record, this was Grauman’s first directing job and he’d quickly settle in to series television directing episodes on shows ranging from The Fugitive to Murder, She Wrote.
Some might suggest I’m just featuring pictures of Allison Hayes because she’s rather sexy and photogenic. Can’t argue that point of view either.
Miss Hayes would go on to play the one and only 50 Foot Woman the following year forever cementing her image on the highly collectible one sheet for that film. No I don’t have it in the vault here at Mike’s Take.
I’ll be the first to raise my hand when asked if I like these 1950’s low budget terrors. Never get enough of them no matter how old I get. A fun throwback to the days of the double bill. Something I never experienced. Looking for a copy of this insane tale of voodoo, murder and jealousy? It’s available via the Warner Archive Collection.
One more for the boys.