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||IMDB Rating: 6.2/10 from APPROVED votes
||Release: 15 Jun 1934 /
||Director: Roy William Neill,
||Synopsis: A young girl who lives on a tropical island loses her parents to a voodoo sacrifice, but although she manages to escape the island, a curse is put on her. Years later, as an adult, she ...
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This film proves that a decent retrospective of the films of Roy
William Neill is long overdue. A forgotten horror movie of real merit,
BLACK MOON is obscure enough not to be listed in Halliwell's Film Guide
but of sufficient interest to have played in New York's Film Forum a
couple of years back (where I first saw it on a double billed with
ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU!) The plot is right out of "Conjure Wife" with a
slight foreshadowing of I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE. A New York socialite
(Dorothy Burgess) is haunted by her childhood memories of being brought
up by a voodoo priestess in Haiti. Her hope is to free herself from the
past by confronting it outright but her plan proves disastrous.
Returning to the island, she is promptly elevated to the status of a
white goddess among the natives and is soon participating in human
sacrifices, eventually plotting against her husband and infant
I have to admit my enthusiasm for this movie isn't shared by others in
my immediate movie circle. The major flaw is that Burgess'
transformation into a jungle high priestess is simply glossed over in
the script. Indeed, she's off-screen for the better part of the movie.
Instead the film focuses on the budding romance of Jack Holt as the
harried husband and his secretary (that she's played by Fay Wray is at
least a consolation). Still the film works up to an ominous mood,
creating a palpable hothouse atmosphere as voodoo drums beat steadily
on the soundtrack.
The film played on Turner Classic Movie many years back and is,
presumably, in limited circulation. It's dated racial attitudes
undoubtedly won't help it get the wider distribution it deserves. It's
safe to say that a DVD release is unlikely but the film is worth
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