Voodoo Passion - Call Of The Blond Goddess AKA Der Ruf der blonden Göttin (1977)
R0 - Switzerland - V.I.P. Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jari Kovalainen (5th August 2005).
The Film

When you have a film that is somehow connected to Haiti and voodoo, you usually get certain elements: Natives dancing with tribal music in the dark, mysterious powers are present, and nature is close to people. This is also the case with “Voodoo Passion”, a film by director Jess Franco and producer Erwin C. Dietrich.

After dancing natives and some narration about voodoo, you´ll learn that Susan (Ada Tauler) arrives in Haiti, where her husband Jack (Jack Taylor) already lives. After arriving, Susan meets two women: housekeeper Inès (Nanda Van Bergen) and exhibitionist Olga (Karine Gambier), who seems to be Jack´s sister. Both are living in the same house with her and Jack, and she starts to feel some sexual vibes from both women. Inès has connections with voodoo ceremonies, and when Susan finds an voodoo doll in the house and is starting to see dreams about murders, the story takes a strange path..

“Voodoo Passion” might have some elements of suspense and mystery, but basically the erotic tone is what drives the film ahead. You have plenty of voodoo dancing, laying in a bathtub, a few softcore scenes, and of course a blond sex bomb Olga, who is always naked in the film. The “mystery” starts to unravel a bit too late, but it´s a welcome change to the story. You could say that these erotic scenes (especially voodoo ceremonies) are well made and they “blend in” quite nicely to the film, but sometimes they are a bit too boring and even slow the film down. Cinematography (by Andreas Demmer) is solid, and images are not rushed. Slower editing pace also works for the film, and we have mainly images from the mansion and its surrounding nature, and let´s not forget about that bathtub where these ladies like to be, naked of course. Those were the times in the 70s, it seems..

In (roughly) the first part of the film, the music is mainly “tribal music” (similar to some scenes in e.g. Fulci´s “Zombie (1979)”), but after that we have a few scenes from the bar, where Franco uses again probably his favourite music, groovy jazz-soundtrack (it sounds kind of modern actually, and I liked it).
Franco basically portrays voodoo here as an instrument of “free spirits”, dancing, and sexuality, right from the first narration of the film. The “evil” comes from the certain people who exploit voodoo, not by the voodoo itself.


“Voodoo Passion” is part of "The Official Jess Franco Collection” by “V.I.P. Entertainment”. Like the series throughout, the film has been re-mastered (Anamorphic 1.78:1) from the original negatives, and it shows. There are not much of film artifacts, and all print damage is minimal. I had the feeling though, that the black levels on the transfer were slightly lacking, since the transfer looked a bit “pale”. There were also few shots (here and there) that were softer and more grainy (grain is often part of the film, but there were scenes that had images with good contrast, but few soft and grainy ones in the middle in the same scene). Anyway, this is probably the best that this film will ever look, so props to VIP again. Transfer uses German credits, disc is R0, and it´s NTSC. The film runs 86:06 min, and has 12 chapters. The disc is Dual Layer.


The disc has 3 audio tracks, all Dolby Digital 2.0 mono: English, German and French, and there are no subtitles on the film. Again, probably German and French –tracks would´ve been better dub-tracks, but English (my choice when I watched the film) didn´t sound that bad. Technically it was clean and well balanced. French-track sounded a bit inferior, but all 3 were good when you consider what some other Mono-tracks sound in some similar releases. Also, this isn´t very dialogue-driven film. Good job.


This release includes the same "Behind-the-scenes" –featurette as the “Blue Rita”-disc, and it´s actually an interview with producer Erwin C. Dietrich (with some narration). It starts as a PR-featurette of VIP´s “The Official Jess Franco Collection”, but you have also some interesting info about Franco´s other film, “Jack The Ripper AKA Der Dirnenmörder von London”, and also some stories about the actor Klaus Kinski (he´s not in “Blue Rita”). Dietrich also finds connections between Franco and Dogma-movement, and doesn´t have warm memories of the German censors “FSK” back in the days. Featurette runs 21:22 minutes and is in German (with English subtitles).

Then we also have over 40 minutes worth of trailers, all in German (except “Mad Foxes”, which is in English): “Voodoo Passion”, "Sexy Sisters", "Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun", "Blue Rita", "Barbed Wire Dolls", "Doriana Grey", "Jack The Ripper AKA Der Dirnenmörder von London", "Island Women AKA Gefangene Frauen", "Come Play With Me 2", "Come Play With Me 3", "Me, A Groupie", "Mad Foxes", "Fräuleins in Uniforms", "Ilsa, The Wicked Warden", and "Rolls-Royce Baby".

2 photo galleries includes “production stills” of “Voodoo Passion”, and then “original poster gallery”, which includes other (s)exploitation movies by Dietrich. Finally there are bio/filmographies for Franco and Dietrich, and filmographies for Ada Tauler, Jack Taylor, Nanda Van Bergen (AKA Vicky Adams), and Karine Gambier (there are no bios of the actors).

Finally there is some basic info about "The Official Jess Franco Collection" (you can find similar info from the “leaflet” with the case itself), and “DVD credits”.

If you don´t own the other VIP Franco-releases, the featurette is fairly interesting and worth a look, but since this same featurette is spread over the several releases, many people might have already seen it. So “Voodoo Passion´s" own featurette obviously would´ve been a much better and more interesting choice, with Franco-interview included of course. There are plenty of trailers, a few photo galleries and talent bios. All good to have on the disc.


“Voodoo Passion” is a quite harmless (back cover says “Warning! This film contains scenes of shocking horror”, but this is only a marketing gimmick) film, and for the Franco-fans, at least, entertaining. You have plenty of nudity, a little bit of “mysterious voodoo”, and Jess Franco is at the helm, so this mix can´t go totally wrong. Technical aspects of the disc are very good, but extras are lacking a bit. English subtitles would´ve been nice for the non-English audio tracks.

For more info, please visit the homepage of VIP´s The Official Jess Franco Collection.

The Film: Video: Audio: Extras: Overall:


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