Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 24th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Spain, 1981
Director: Jess Franco
Cast: Lina Romay, Ajita Wilson, Robert Foster
DVD released: October 31st, 2006
Approximate running time: 80 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Spanish
DVD Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: While vacationing on the Canary Islands Alice Brooks (Lina Romay) is haunted each evening while she dreams by a woman named Tara. Alice one day is contacted by her boss who informs her of a client named Princess Obongo (Ajita Wilson) who is interested in buying some property in Atlantic City. Reluctant to take the job at first her husband convinces her to go visit this mysterious woman known as Princess Obongo.
What is real and what is a dream? These are two things in Macumba Sexual and Jess Franco’s films in general that play an integral part too many of his most memorable films. After years of blurring the line between what is real and what is a dream Franco finally created a film with Macumba Sexual that perfectly captures the essence of a waking nightmare. His direction in Macumba Sexual is superb as he never over uses any technique to the point it where it feels like he wants you to know you are watching a film. The film is filled with striking imagery and the shot that it without a doubt the most memorable is the one where Ajita Wilson as Princess Obongo is holding a man and woman on leashes as they walk beside her like dogs. The sex in this film is not as graphic as it is in some of his more erotic based films. There are many disturbing images in the film and some of them border on vulgar.
Lina Romay under the alias “Candy Coster” does a wonderful job capturing Alcie’s downward spiral into depravity. The films most stand-out performance is that of Ajita Wilson as Princess Obongo. She steals every scene she is in. Jess Franco’s cinema in not for everyone and while his hard core fans will appreciate Macumba Sexual. Those who are uninitiated into the world of Mr. Franco may want to start with something more accessible like his Orloff films or the Red lips films. Overall Macumba Sexual is Jess Franco’s last great film.
Macumba Sexual is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 Techniscope aspect ratio. This DVD marks the first time this film has ever been presented uncut and on home video in America. The image looks exceptional with vivid colors and razor sharp details in the background and foreground. There is no noticeable print damage, artifacts, compression or edge enhancement.
This release comes with one audio option the films native Spanish language which is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The mix while not overpowering is free of any hiss or sound defects and dialog sound clear. Removable English sub titles have been included that are easy to follow and free of any typos.
Extras for this release are limited to twenty two minute featurette titled “Voodoo Jess” which includes comments from Jess Franco and Lina Romay. Topics that are discussed include Franco returning to his homeland of Spain to make films, working with Golden Films International, shooting films back to back, working on Macumba Sexual and Ajita Wilson. The majority of the conversation is spent with Jess Franco who as always doesn’t hold back with his honest answers.
Overall Severin Films rescues another lost Jess Franco gem from obscurity and gives it’s a first class release that is long overdue, highly recommended.