Whilst they might have been the ‘toilet circuit’ of US cinemas, grindhouse theatres have fulfilled a vital function since the early 20th century. Although their heyday was unquestionably in the 1970s, the market for these kinds of low-budget, trashy, ultra-violent and sexually explicit films was swallowed up over the next decade by the popularity of video and cable. Robert Rodriquez and Quentin Tarantino sparked a resurgence in interest with their homage in 2007. It began a drip of similar films, such as Vasni Ramos’ latest, Voodoo Apocalypse.
After disappearing from sight for five years, Charlie Vargas (José J. Ramallo) comes out of ‘retirement’ to avenge the death of his former partner. He reluctantly teams up with White Chocolate (Sergio G. Ramos) as the pair hit the streets of Los Angeles to track down the perpetrator, the infamous drug king Jimmy Vanilla (Victor Hubara). They find themselves drawn into the murky world of black magic and voodoo.
On the on hand, Voodoo Apocalypse is a well-observed and clever homage to exploitation cinema. On the other, it doesn’t really work as a film. Whilst Ramos’ schlocky action comedy has its moments, particularly when Raquel Rial and Jorge Galván are involved, there’s not enough story to hold the audience’s interest. It’s often left to the supporting cast to try and keep it afloat. However, Voodoo Apocalypse is very much a ‘midnight’ film, which will improve exponentially with tequila.
Voodoo Apocalypse will be available on Digital Download from 9th November