Since the days of “White Zombie,” voodoo careers have come a long way: we’ve got a doctor, a baron, a professor, a captain and more! Join us as we do that voodoo that we do so well via six Movie Witch Doctors that are Vaguely Racist!
From the casting alone, there’s no way this movie couldn’t have been legendary; top it off with a script that has an ensemble of misfits that would make Fat Albert blush and you’re really cooking. Dennis Haybert–who is the friggin’ Allstate Insurance guy–holds down what could’ve easily been a passable bit part, conjuring the badass voodoo slugger Pedro Cerrano. Racist turn: the fried chicken for Jobu isn’t terribly PC, but incredible nonetheless.
First of all, let’s start with one of the basics: pretty sure if a character’s got the word “Murder” somewhere, anywhere in his name, he’s more than likely to be substantially evil and that racism would just kind of be an assumed facet of that whole evil stigma. What’s more, in addition to being the grandaddy of all zombie movies, the technical aspects of this film basically boil down to a perverse version of “Hitch.” Some dude just paid poor Murder to play matchmaker with his juju. Prior to that, he was content just to run his sugar cane mill, run by a labor force of non-union, non-sleeping Haitian zombies who may or may not fall into the cane grinder by whoopsie. Somebody get Murder some Upton Sinclair, right guys?!
Um, it’s a black guy from New Orleans who is also known as “The Shadow Man.” He wears a purple Isaac Hayes suit and is basically a criminal against even his own people. If Disney wants to make a mint, they need to shake-up their straight-to-video fare and show the nasty juju the Doc would bring down on all the cracker princesses in the kingdom. Faciler’s pimp hand would definitely leave its mark on Snow White, Ariel, and Cinderella.
Besides the whole pulling-out-still-beating-hearts-until-they-burst-aflame thing, Mola Ram’s pretty darn adorable. It’s a shame that nobody ever made this character into a sitcom neighbor, who is basically just a holistic herbalist with a penchant for body paint looking to take up some downtime between Burning Man Festivals. He’s even got a loveable catch phrase! “Kali-Mah, Shakti-Day”…remixes and tee shirts abound! Racist turn: making Harrison Ford spaz out on an altar in the middle of a cave, that’s just a waste of good candles.
In voodoo culture, the real Baron Samedi is the doorman to the underworld, the god who ushers you into the next phase of existence. This Baron Samedi merely ushers us into the next phase of suckitude that is the Roger Moore era of the Bond franchise. While sexy young Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman is meant to be sacrificed to his character, you can’t blame the guy for wanting to off her. If your vehicle was a turd that shoehorned elements of “Smokey and the Bandit” with blaxploitation into a spy movie series you’d want to jump into a coffin of snakes, too.
One could say that Captain Peytraud is acting as the “antagonist” in “The Serpent and the Rainbow” merely to protect those things near and dear to him. So he doesn’t want big pharmaceutical fat cats taking over his interests in Haitian medicine, and maybe he doesn’t want them to…release those souls he’s keeping in jars in his basement. What’s the big deal? So he has to track down the occasional white doctor and pound a giant nail…through the guy’s unmentionables. Alright, he’s evil. Racist and evil.