The Tale of the Voodoo Prostitute is a Miley Cyrus type of horror movie. That is, it’s awash in crude cultural appropriation, adopting a stereotypical vision of blackness for some perceived hipness factor without ever truly buying into black culture. As evidenced by the golden gun-toting gangsta on the movie poster (a character than never appears in the film), it uses a literal “black face” to peddle its wares, even though its three main stars — which include writer-director Charles Buchanan — are very much white.
Like Cyrus did in her “twerk phase” (which she conveniently abandoned after being dragged by Nicki Minaj), Buchanan surrounds himself with black people in an attempt to legitimize his racial fetishism. He sets the film in a criminal underworld of pimps and prostitutes — the latter of whom are all white and the former of whom are all black…except for his character, Fleetwood Deville, the biggest, baddest pimp in the city, despite the fact he looks like the lead singer in a Meatloaf tribute band. All of the black men in the film — pimps, thugs and bodyguards — fear him almost as much as they love white women. And that’s saying a lot, because practically every black guy here is shown at some point drooling over a white chick like a Kardashian after an NBA star — typically in as crass a manner as possible.
Take this charming interaction, for instance, of a black dude hitting on a white woman as she exits a bar:
Black guy: “Hey baby. What you gettin’ into tonight?”
White gal: “Just listening to some fucker talk about his dog.”
Black guy: “I’d rather be talkin’ about snow bunnies, sweetheart.”
White gal: “What do you wanna talk about?”
Black guy: “I’m tryin’ to see what I’m f*ckin’ tonight.”
White gal: “Well, come on then. Let’s see if you can give me a deep d*cking.”
Black guy: “Let’s go get our f*ck on, baby.”
(It should be noted that there’s exactly one black woman in the movie, and her purpose seems to be the only prostitute who CAN’T turn on a black man…and then she’s killed.)
I think this horny white woman is supposed to be a hooker, but that doesn’t make this scene any more charming — or, for that matter, purposeful, because these two characters have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PLOT WHATSOVER. In fact, they’re never seen again in the film (too busy deep d*cking, I guess).
And they’re not alone; Voodoo Prostitute is littered with human non-sequiturs who pop in for one or two scenes that are tangential to the storyline and then disappear forever. Mostly, they seem to be examples of “black life,” like some sort of hood version of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. There’s a random drive-by shooting (in which someone yells in pain BEFORE the shooter — who’s black, of course — actually fires his gun), some pimp — again, black — recruiting a couple of white hookers and some drug dealer — black, natch — pointlessly rambling about how he makes crack.
Then, there’s an unnamed priest (who’s white, because that role doesn’t fit the black stereotype) who shows up wearing Birkenstocks and somehow has a stable of possessed women who’ve developed stigmata, but apparently, that’s not interesting enough to delve into, so he’s never heard from again.
But back to Deville. He runs afoul of a voodoo-practicing hooker (who’s white, because she’s the Miley Cyrus of voodoo, and who’s supposedly seductive, although she dances like she’s trying to avoid gunfire), and she turns his penis into a rattlesnake. That bit makes it sound like this might actually be kind of a fun movie, but it’s not. It’s a miserable, exhaustingly dull and amateurish pile of suck that’s poorly written (full of pseudo-poetic lines like, “There is an uneasy wind singing a song I’ve never heard before.”) and poorly directed, edited and acted. Even the lighting is crap; there are scenes where you literally can’t make out people’s faces as they talk. Plus, there’s shitty hip-hop music droning in the background of practically every scene. But hey, keep it real.
Somehow, Buchanan seems to want Deville to be some sort of antihero that we secretly root for, even though he kills hookers for fun and brags about murdering any woman he impregnates. Thinking we’d sympathize with a character like that is indicative of the sort of deluded mind that would think a movie this misogynistic, racially insensitive and artistically corrupt would have any appeal whatsoever.