Saturday, July 23, 2022

Macumba Sexual – Severin Films (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: Spain, 1983
Director: Jesús Franco
Writer: Jesús Franco
Cast: Lina Romay, Ajita Wilson, Antonio Mayans, Hemy Basalo, José Ferro, Jesús Franco

Release Date: June 10th, 2022
Approximate Running Time: 80 Minutes 20 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVCC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Spanish
Subtitles: English
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95

"Lina Romay (in her succulent ‘Candy Coster’ guise) stars as a sexually repressed wife tormented by visions of ‘the goddess of unspeakable lust’ Princess Obongo (an unforgettable performance by pioneering transgender actress Ajita Wilson of SADOMANIA fame) in a fever dream of erotic cruelty, carnal duality and nonstop Franco-style insanity." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, “now scanned in 2K from the original negative for the first time ever.”

Macumba Sexual comes on a 25 GB single layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 22 GB

Feature: 19.4 GB

Though the source used for this transfer is in great shape. It should be noted that there are a few very minor instances of source imperfections. Colors are nicely saturated, flesh tones look correct, the image generally looks crisp, black levels look good, and the image retains an organic look.

Audio: 4.5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in Spanish, and included with this release are removable English subtitles. The audio is free of any background hiss or distortion; dialog comes through clearly; everything sounds balanced; ambient sounds are well-represented.


Extras for this release include an archival interview with director Jess Franco, and actress Lina Romay titled Voodoo Jess (22 minutes 9 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English and Spanish with removable English subtitles), and an interview with Stephen Thrower, author Of Flowers Of Perversion: The Delirious Cinema Of Jesús Franco titled The Mirror Of Evil (39 minutes 2 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles).


What is real and what is a dream? These are two things in Macumba Sexual and Jess Franco’s films in general that play an integral part in many of his most memorable films. After years of blurring the line between what is real and what is a dream, Jess Franco finally created a film with Macumba Sexual that perfectly captures the essence of a waking nightmare. 

Jess Franco's direction in Macumba Sexual is superb as he never overuses any technique to the point where it feels like he wants you to know you are watching a film. The film is filled with striking imagery, and the shot that is without a doubt the most memorable is the one where Ajita Wilson, as Princess Obongo, is holding a man and a woman on leashes as they walk beside her like dogs. The sex in Macumba Sexual is not as graphic as it is in some of Jess Franco's more erotic-themed films. There are many disturbing images in Macumba Sexual, and some of them border on vulgar.

Under the alias Candy Coster, does a wonderful job capturing Alice’s downward spiral into depravity. The film's most standout performance is that of Ajita Wilson as Princess Obongo. She steals every scene she is in. Jess Franco’s cinema is not for everyone, and while his hard-core fans will appreciate Macumba Sexual. Those unfamiliar with Jess Franco's work may want to begin with something more approachable, such as his Orloff or Red Lip films. Ultimately, Macumba Sexual is top-tier Jess Franco and one of his best post-1970’s films.

Macumba Sexual gets a first-rate from Severin Films that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a pair of insightful extras, highly recommended.

Written by Michael Den Boer

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