Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Curse of Simba (1965)

Variously titled Voodoo Blood Death and Curse of the Voodoo, depending upon where when you saw it, Curse of Simba is an early Lindsay Shonteff effort.  Produced by Richard Gordon from a pseudonymous Brian Clemens script and starring Gordon regular Bryant Halliday, the film is one of those 'exotic' jungle adventures set in Africa but actually filmed in Regent's Park and padded out with stock footage of lions and other wild animals.  Playing on popular contemporary prejudices about black Africans (and, indeed, black people generally), the film's scenario of witch doctors and voodoo curses placed on white hunters might well appear shockingly racist by today's standards.  It's probably the sort of film that professional hand-wringing 'liberals' would like to see banned.  However, it is utterly pointless to demonise such films by trying to apply present day standards to them - they are simply products of their era and, as such, provide a fascinating time capsule of the attitudes, prejudices and perceptions of an era gone by.

Lacking the low budget quirkiness (and often sheer lunacy) of Shonteff's later, self produced, pictures, Curse of Simba was a disappointing follow up to his debut, Devil Doll (1964), also produced by Richard Gordon and starring Bryant Halliday.  An effective black and white horror film, played absolutely straight, with none of his usual off beat touches, Devil Doll was also atypical of the director's output.  Shonteff would finally get into his stride with his next film, Licensed to Kill, the first of his many low budget Bond knock offs. 



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home