~ * RAMBOONA * ~
Ramboona is easily the most famous Voodoo spirit of all times. Most Voodoo spirits originated in Africa, but not Ramboona. Other Voodoo spirits come from Louisiana, the Caribbean or South America. Not Ramboona. Some Voodoo spirits are Catholic Saints. Not Ramboona.
In fact, Ramboona has one of the largest audiences in world as well as his own cult following, the B Grade Hollywood Horror Cult!
Born in 1944 in the movie, “Voodoo Man,” Ramboona was the fictional Voodoo spirit intended to bring the main character’s (played by Bela Lugosi) wife back to life. The movie is so trite, low budget and just plain bad, it has gone full circle to becoming a “cult” classic. Besides Lugosi, the movie stars John Carradine and George Zucco. Zucco, an experienced and accomplished actor of the classical mold, plays a gas station attendant who doubles as Voodoo Doctor and attempts to help Lugosi revive his wife. After Zucco calls on the Voodoo spirit, Ramboona, to bring the deceased wife back to life, the film makes dramatic use of his words playing them in a dramatic mantra for effect. And thus, Ramboona became the most famous spirit in all of Voodoo.
Since most people get most of what they know about Voodoo from watching movies, let’s accept Ramboona as the great spirit of the movies and review some of his intercessions into our lives and imaginations.
White Zombie: (1932); One of the early “talkies” and the film, whose success, has given us the undying Voodoo-Zombie horror-gothic cult flick. The film stared Bela Lugosi in what some consider his most eccentric, memorable and perhaps, best performance.
Drums O'Voodoo: (1934); A voodoo princess fights to eliminate the town bad guy in this all-black feature. Stars: Laura Bowman, J. Augustus Smith and Edna Barr
Ouanga: (1936); A plantation owner who decides to seek revenge in the form of voodoo spells when her boyfriend leaves her to marry a white woman. The voodoo tale was to be filmed in Haiti with authentic participants, but was forced to retreat to Jamaica by unrest and delivery of an ouanga (token of a voodoo curse) as soon as his purpose was made known. Washington, plays a voodoo priestess whose power is insufficient to bend to will of the white man she love. In revenge she has zombies helpers his Leonard's fiancée. An all-black remake, 'Pocomania' (1939), also filmed in Jamaica, was directed by Arthur Leonard with a reworked script n which the priestess aims her malice at her half-sister so as the gain control of her estate. Also, the original movie was re-released under the titles; Love Wanga and Crime of Voodoo. Stars: Fredericka Carolyn “Fredri” Washington
Revolt of the Zombies: (1936); An international expedition is sent into Cambodia to destroy an ancient formula that turns men into zombies. Cambodian troops are turned into zombies. Stars:
King of the Zombies: (1941); A Third Reich zombie breeder reluctantly welcoming survivors of a crash landing to his island. Starring Henry Victor, Dick Purcell, John Archer and Mantan Moreland.
I Walked with a Zombie: (1943); A young American nurse comes to Haiti to care for the catatonic matriarch of a troubled family. Local legends surface when she takes her patient to a voodoo healing ceremony.
Revenge of the Zombies: (1943); A zombie making mad doctor is , breeding a herd of ambulatory corpses in the Louisiana swamps. Stars: John Carradine, Robert Lowery, Gale Storm and Mantan Moreland.
The Mad Ghoul: (1943); A mad scientist turns a gullible victim into a pasty-faced, heart-snatching zombie. Stars: George Zucco and David Bruce.
Dead Men Walk: (1943); Two brothers, one good, one evil, battle in this flick. Includes Vampires and zombies as well. Stars:
Voodoo Man: (1944), A highly regarded cult film, it was shot in seven days with no effort whatsoever to research actual voodoo lore. This film created the Voodoo spirit Ramboona. Mad doctor is assisted by gas station attendant/Voodoo priest in bringing his wife back from the dead. Stars: Bela Lugoisi, George Zucco and John Carradine. Directed by William Beaudine who also made “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula.”
Zombies on Broadway: (1945); Two men search for a zombie act to use in their nightclub. A zombie gangster comedy. Stars: Bela Lugosi, Brown and Carney.
The Golden Mistress: (1954); About a guy who goes to Haiti to help his girlfriend find out who killed her father and gets mixed up with voodoo and zombies. Shot in Haiti where they had some problems with a lot of the locals who were into voodoo and didn't want the movie made (death threats, sabotage, etc.). Stars: John Agar.
Voodoo Woman: (1957); A mad scientist tampers with voodoo in order to create an invincible monster to serve his will. When a party stumbles upon his village, he realizes the expedition’s evil leader is the perfect subject for his work. Stars: Tom Conway
Voodoo Island: (1957): The mystic happenings of a murky island with Voodoo dolls and man eating plants. Stars: Boris Karloff, Beverly Tyler
The Zombies of Mora Tau: (1957); Zombie-like, dead crewmen of a sunken ship have prevent salvagers from claiming the wreck's legendary box of diamonds. Stars:
Zombies of the Stratosphere: (1958);Leonard Nimoy plays a Martian who saves the day. Stars: Leonard Nimoy
The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies: (1964); Three friends visit a carnival and stumble into a group of occultists and disfigured monsters. The film was billed as the first "monster musical." Stars:
Plague of the Zombies: (1966); A fairly intense story about a Voodoo cult in a Cornish village. Contains beautiful photography. Stars:
Astro Zombies: (1967); A disgruntled scientist who, having been fired by the space agency, decides to create superhuman monsters from the body parts of innocent murder victims. The creatures eventually escape and go on a killing spree. Stars: John Carradine.
Dawn of the Dead: (1968); Four people barricade themselves in a shopping mall to get away from man-eating zombies. Stars:
Night of the Living Dead: (1968); Johnny and Barbara, are in the family cemetery at the grave of their deceased father. Johnny's next line, "They're coming for you Barbara", is his last. After her brother gets killed by the Zombie, the girl runs off to an abandoned farmhouse, thus beginning her fight with the man-eating corpses. Stars:
Live and Let Die: (1973); James Bond confronts a heroin magnate armed with a complex organization, a reliable virgin psychic tarot card reader and the Voodoo spirit Baron Samedi. Filmed in part in New Orleans. The first Bond movie a Black girl to be romantically involved with 007. Stars: Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Seymour and Gloria Hendry
Voodoo Black Exorcist: (1973); An African prince is punished for taking another man’s woman is entombed alive. Centuries later, a band of explorers disturbs the prince's resting place. A curse placed upon his tomb causes the prince's corpse to arise and begin killing the explorers, while they desperately search for a way to stop this unliving nightmare. Stars: Aldo Sambrell, Tanyeka Stadler and Alexander Abrahan.
Vengeance of the Zombies: (1973); The murder of a young woman in London has some Scotland Yard inspectors searching for answers into her death. As the intense manhunt continues, clues to the woman's death lead the inspectors to a shocking revelation. A madman has discovered a way to revive the corpses of women and is sending them out to kill his enemies. Stars: Jacinto Molina, Romy and Mirta Miller.
The Zombies of Sugar Hill: (1974) A woman tries to avenge her lover's death by conjuring black zombies. Stars:
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman: (1974); Based on the 1971 novel by Louisiana native, Ernest J. Gaines. A fictional Black woman whose life began in slavery and ended at the inception of the Civil Rights Movement. Features a Voodoo gris-gris scene. Stars: Cicely Tyson
Shock Waves: (1975); A brigade of Nazi zombies to power the Third Reich's submarines. Stars: Peter Cushing
French Quarter: (1977); Based on the concept of reincarnation, a heady mix of the atmosphere of old New Orleans, Voodooism and Creole culture, together with quite a spicy and interesting story line. Stars: Virginia Mayo, Becky Allen and Vernel Bagnaris
Voodoo Passion: (1977); A blend of sexploitation, horror and murder mystery. Susan, a woman just arrived in Haiti to join her diplomat husband finds herself enmeshed in a heavy atmosphere of voodoo and passion. Her husband is having an affair with a woman who claims to be his sister, and there’s also a beautiful Haitian housekeeper. Susan starts having disturbing dreams, and starts to become fascinated by voodoo and by the sensual abandon that accompanies it. Susan’s response to the air of sexual freedom she finds treats voodoo in such a sympathetic way, not at all in the demonizing manner so familiar in horror movies. It’s a movie about voodoo and sexual passion, and the movie is very much on the side of both of those things. As an erotic movie it works well, and it also works as a reasonably effective horror/mystery thriller. Stars:
Black Voodoo: (1978); A demented professor of the occult, whose soul jumps into the curvaceous body of a nurse shortly before he dies. The possessed lady then begins stalking, seducing and killing people.
Stars: Jill Jacobson
Zombie: (1979); Tale is about a mad scientist who creates zombies that can only be killed with a bullet through the brain. Rated X for gore and nudity. Stars:
Night of the Zombies: (1981); Investigators search for soldiers' missing bodies, and hear unbelievable rumors about zombies. Stars: Jamie Gillis, Samantha Grayand Ryan Hilliard.
Zombie Island Massacre: (1984); Corpses come alive on a Caribbean island. You do not even see the zombies, they do all the killing behind the scenes. A group of tourists who go to the islands and watch a Voodoo service. During the service a lamb is sacrificed and the tourists are disgusted. When they reach the tour bus to leave it is broken down, what a coincidence. The tourists then decide to walk through a jungle towards a house they had seen earlier. Much to their surprise, they end up being picked off one by one by the zombies that you never see. Stars:
Day of the Dead: (1985); A female scientist is trapped in an army bunker. She tries to study the zombies, but the men want them destroyed.
Zombie Nightmare: (1986); A man is killed by some teenagers while trying to prevent a rape after a baseball game. His widow calls for a houngan to reanimate her husband so that he may avenge his death. After he is brought back to life as a zombie, he goes around killing people with a baseball bat. Stars: Jon Mikl Thor
The Big Easy: (1987); A Homicide Detective story set in New Orleans. In one scene there is a Voodoo ceremony featuring the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum’s altar. The Movie also features the song, “Iko-Iko.” Stars: Dennis Quaid, Ellen Barkin, and Ned Beatty
Angel Heart: (1987); A private detective hire by the devil to track down someone. A hot young voodoo priestess. Stars: Lisa Bonet, Robert Deniro, Mickey Rourke
The Believers: (1987); A police department psychiatrist who has just lost his wife. His closest friends are secretly members of a voodoo cult that want to sacrifice his son. Stars: Martin Sheen
The Serpent and The Rainbow: (1988); About a Harvard ethno botanist who goes to Haiti after hearing rumors about a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people in zombies. He ends up zombified after buying the secret herbs. Stars:
Voodoo Dawn: (1990); Group of immigrant Haitian farm workers in Louisiana try to fight off an evil Haitian voodoo priest who tries to kill them and use their body parts to make up a zombie army. He begins to gather bits and pieces of people. When all is finally complete, he slashes his wrist and lets the blood drip into the zombie man's mouth. In the meantime, the migrant workers, led by a priestess, decide to kill priest. They attack him and get a piece of his clothing to use for a Voodoo doll. With this doll, the priestess kills him and they burn his body. All seems well except the zombie Voodoo man comes to life and is not happy to see his master a clump of ashes. After a battle between the Voodoo man and the hero, the Voodoo man loses his head, literally, and dies. However, a demon bursts out of the Voodoo man's stomach and tries to eat the hero. Stars: Raymond St James, Theresa Merritt, Tony Todd, John Russo, Gina Gershon, Kirk Baily, Grant Albrecht and Billy "Sly" Williams
The Killing Box: (1993); Slave traders who bring back an evil voodoo entity that is accidentally freed by the Confederate army during the Civil War. The entity possesses the bodies of the dead soldiers to create an army of its own bent on conquest, using the corpses of both the North and South. Stars: Corbin Bernsen. Martin Sheen, Billy Bob Thornton. Alexus Arquette and Matt LeBlanc.
Voodoo: (1995); In Los Angeles is a secret so sinister and so evil, that those who are witness to it will either lose themselves to its dark grasp, or lose their lives fleeing from it. Andy Chadway transfers to Welles College only to find himself snared in the dangerous web of a fraternity led by a voodoo priest. After a frenzied ritual initiation by undead zombies, Andy wakes to find the snakemark. Stars:
Voodoo Dawn: (1998); An ex-con that learned a little voodoo while he was in the slammer in Louisiana. He sets out to use his black arts for revenge once he is back on the street. Somehow Jezebel, who is a stripper, sets out to do his dirty work. Her assignment is to bring down A.J. and what remains of his family. Stars: Michael Madsen, Rosanna Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Pat Perkins
Voodoo Academy: (2000); A bunch of school boys run around in boxer shorts while their scantily attired voodoo priestess headmistress turns them into dolls. Stars: Debra Mayer
Voodoo Nightmare: (2001); This movie follows a group of young Americans hiking in the Malaysian jungle, encounter the Pontianak, a demonic female banshee seeking revenge on those who have wronged her. Also released under the title: Return To Pontianak (a town directly across the equator on the island of Borneo). Stars: Hiep Thi Le, Fadali, Fadzlinda, Eleanor Lee, Fadzlina Mohamad Shafie, Steve Banks , Victor Khong and Pak Rahman
London Voodoo: (2004): A young man relocates his family from New York to London and his wife discovers a new sexuality and power that threatens to tear the family apart. As his wife's behavior becomes more violent and erratic, to save the woman he must open his mind and trust the people whose beliefs he has refused to acknowledge. Stars: Doug Cockle, Sara Stewart, Michael Nyqvist and Trisha Mortimer
The Skeleton Key: (2005); A hospice nurse working at a New Orleans plantation home finds herself entangled in a mystery involving the house's dark past and Hoodoo. Stars: Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands
Voodoo Moon: (2005); A demonic being destroys an entire town, save a young boy and his sister. Twenty years later, the sister is an artist with psychic abilities and her brother has grown. Stars: Eric Mabius, Charisma Carpenter, Rik Young and Jeffrey Combs
The Giddeh: Voodoo Curse: (2005); A group of teens awaken an evil spirit. On a weekend getaway with friends at a remote cabin, a college student shows off an ancient voodoo book he stole from his professor. But when he inadvertently conjures up an evil African spirit that begins dismembering the hapless teens, his professor must race to reverse the curse. Stars: Breanna Startzel, Glenn Plummer and Johann John Jean
Voodoo Lagoon: (2006); A group of college students book a bargain dream holiday to a remote tropical island, little knowing. Stars:
Hoodoo for Voodoo: (2006); A group of college students win a trip to Louisiana during Mardi Gras. But, fun and breast searching will have to wait for these individuals because someone is killing some of the locals, and the local sheriff has his eyes on them. Stars:
Ninjas vs. Zombies: (2008); The film revolves around seven friends, 3 of which are magically granted the use of ninja powers to fight back against hordes of zombies, and their evil leader. Stars: Cory Eskridge Okouchi, Daniel Ross, Dan Guy, Carla Okouchi, PJ Megaw, Daniel Mascarello, Melissa McConnell and
Voodoo Dollz: (2009); Sweet, sexy, and into the supernatural, the girls of Collinsport School for Girls know how to make hot voodoo when a new student arrives. Stars:
Zombie Cheerleaders Go To Camp: (2009); A cheer leading camp that goes wrong when the girls are turned into zombies and end up tearing each other to pieces. Won a Golden Ace Award at the 2009 Las Vegas International Film Festival. Stars:
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