When you have a film that is somehow connected to Haiti and voodoo, you usually get certain elements: Natives dancing with tribal music in the dark, mysterious powers are present, and nature is close to people. This is also the case with “Voodoo Passion”, a film by director Jess Franco and producer Erwin C. Dietrich.
After dancing natives and some narration about voodoo, you´ll learn that Susan (Ada Tauler) arrives in Haiti, where her husband Jack (Jack Taylor) already lives. After arriving, Susan meets two women: housekeeper Inès (Nanda Van Bergen) and exhibitionist Olga (Karine Gambier), who seems to be Jack´s sister. Both are living in the same house with her and Jack, and she starts to feel some sexual vibes from both women. Inès has connections with voodoo ceremonies, and when Susan finds an voodoo doll in the house and is starting to see dreams about murders, the story takes a strange path..
“Voodoo Passion” might have some elements of suspense and mystery, but basically the erotic tone is what drives the film ahead. You have plenty of voodoo dancing, laying in a bathtub, a few softcore scenes, and of course a blond sex bomb Olga, who is always naked in the film. The “mystery” starts to unravel a bit too late, but it´s a welcome change to the story. You could say that these erotic scenes (especially voodoo ceremonies) are well made and they “blend in” quite nicely to the film, but sometimes they are a bit too boring and even slow the film down. Cinematography (by Andreas Demmer) is solid, and images are not rushed. Slower editing pace also works for the film, and we have mainly images from the mansion and its surrounding nature, and let´s not forget about that bathtub where these ladies like to be, naked of course. Those were the times in the 70s, it seems..
In (roughly) the first part of the film, the music is mainly “tribal music” (similar to some scenes in e.g. Fulci´s “Zombie (1979)”), but after that we have a few scenes from the bar, where Franco uses again probably his favourite music, groovy jazz-soundtrack (it sounds kind of modern actually, and I liked it).
Franco basically portrays voodoo here as an instrument of “free spirits”, dancing, and sexuality, right from the first narration of the film. The “evil” comes from the certain people who exploit voodoo, not by the voodoo itself.