Thursday, September 20, 2007

Voodoo Dawn (1998)

First-time director Andrzej Sekula has shown talent as a cinematographer both prior to and after this piece of straight to dvd dogshit, but going by Voodoo Dawn (aka Fait Accompli) he doesn't cut the mustard as a directorial hack, much less a director. He has no control over the actors, much less the film, though his meandering, where-are-we-now rhythm is on par with the script's bad plotting, lousy sound, painful dialogue and inane characterization. Few of the contemporary b-movie names involved can actually claim to be acting, and the one who tries – James Russo in a small part which hardly merits a headlining poster credit – overdoes it recklessly. Michael Madsen, as has become normal for him, sleepwalks through the film playing his trademarked tightlipped, moody bad guy; Rosanna Arquette simply comes across as lost (as does her southern drawl, which comes and goes throughout the movie), while the only impression Balthazar Getty makes is that he is much too fat for his (at the time) 23 years.
The highlight of the film is undoubtedly the few seconds of Arquette flashing her tits while in the tub, but this brief respite is hardly a valid reason to sit through the entire celluloid sleeping-pill. Supposedly a supernatural thriller, the supernatural aspects of Voodoo Dawn seem thrown in at second or third thought and the "thriller" aspect is simply not there.
The flick lacks a real plot, and the little that exists seems unintentionally deconstructionalist: Madsen goes to jail where he learns some voodoo. When he gets, out he sort of owns a club and Arquette, too. Along the way, he's out for revenge and has a feud with a voodoo queen, who has placed a curse on a bag of money he acquires. Arquette wants freedom and the money, but is used by Madsen as lure to hook Getty for some reason to do something. Getty smokes cigarettes but actually only wants to sleep. Everyone talks a lot but no one seems to listen to each other and the movie takes much too long to meander pointlessly from start to finish.
Better films than this have ruined many a career: Voodoo Dawn is probably one of the most boring pieces of shit any of those involved have ever had the displeasure of being in. What all a person is willing to do simply to pay the rent…

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