I gotta tell you, I haven’t a clue how long this has been sitting around my office, waiting to be reviewed; worse, my wife watched it when it first got here, and she can’t remember how long ago that was. The best I can offer you is that it was originally released on October 3, 2006, so we’re almost certainly looking at an entire year…and while I realize that I should feel embarrassed about the fact that it’s been loitering around here for so long, the best defense I have is that it’s a Sci-Fi Channel original film, and, statistically, those things are generally best left unwatched.
In the case of “Voodoo Moon,” I’ll at least say this: it’s a far cry from being the worst Sci-Fi Channel original film that I’ve ever seen. In fact, at times, it feels like a cross between “Fallen” (the Denzel Washington flick which probably blew most of its budget just to license The Rolling Stones’ “Time Is On My Side”) and “The Crow,” though the latter comparison probably only comes into play because the film’s lead, Eric Mabius (“Resident Evil”), walks around wearing a long black trenchcoat for the majority of the movie.
Mabius plays Cole, who basically spends his life practicing voodoo and hunting demons, one of which – a dark fellow named Daniel (Rik Young) – keeps popping back into our realm when he’s not wanted. Daniel’s been a thorn in Cole’s side for years, growing stronger each time he returns, and, now, he’s back for a final battle. To draw as much strength as possible, Cole draws together a group of folks he’s helped over the years, and they’re more than willing to step up and help him defeat Daniel. Also in the mix is Cole’s sister, Heather, played by Charisma Carpenter; it’s pretty clear that Carpenter didn’t have to stretch much to play this role, which has her reacting to things in much the same way she did when she played Cordelia Chase on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.” John Amos (“Good Times”) plays a biker buddy of Cole’s, and there are also appearances from horror flick stalwarts like Dee Wallace Stone and Jeffrey Combs. Amos is great, but that’s also probably the least surprising revelation about the film, given that he’s usually entertaining in any role; Combs, however, is part of the most entertaining subplot of the film, playing one of Cole’s cronies who gets killed on his way to assist him but refuses to let little things like death or rigor mortis get in the way of doing his part. Young is pretty entertaining with his portrayal of the evil Daniel, too:
As with any Sci-Fi Channel flick, there are plenty of moments which will inspire you to yell at the screen because of their stupidity, but Jenn – my wife and my regular “Scare of the Day” viewing companion – became very vocal about her issues with a small moment in the movie. It occurred when Heather stepped into the hallway of the hotel where she and Cole were staying, only to get immediately stabbed in the leg with a fork by an old woman who’d been possessed by Daniel. Heather’s reaction was basically, “Ow, that hurt,” taking it pretty much in stride when Cole yanked out the fork. “Oh, my God!” yelled Jenn. “You would so NOT act like you’ve just gotten a slap on the leg if you’d been stabbed by a fork!” This really, really bothered my wife. Later in the film, Heather accidentally cuts herself on a broken glass and barely holds it together, at which point Jenn yelled, “Suck it up! You took a fork in the leg…and I know that hurt worse than that!” I won’t waste your time or mine by regaling you with the other fork-related references made throughout the course of these 89 minutes, but suffice it to say that the issue was still going strong even as I was typing this paragraph.
The special effects range from the not-bad to the outrageously-crappy, with the battle royale between Cole and Daniel falling somewhere in-between the two poles, but probably the most annoying thing about “Voodoo Moon” is that it’s one of those movies where you’re always aware that there’s a good idea getting the shit kicked out of it by poor execution. The character of Cole is actually a rather interesting one, particularly the idea of a demon hunter who has a team of people he’s saved working with him (it reminds me of “The Shadow”), but the concept is wasted here.
Oh, well. It’s not like I had high expectations, anyway.