Macumba Sexual (1983) Director: Jesús Franco Starring: Ajita Wilson, Lina Romay, Antonio Mayans, Lorna Green, Jose Ferro .USA/Ita. 1h 20m
Franco’s attempt to build a provocative romp around African magic, works in as much as it combines a staggering round of art house prono with a loose story about a powerful witch princess who’s attempt to take over the world one orgasm at a time is going to plan.
A lithe Spanish real estate agent, Alice (Romay), and her partner, a French writer, are holidaying in the Canary Isands when she has a highly erotic dream about a tall black woman who walks through the desert with two human slaves on chains. That very day she’ll recieve a message from her boss to visit Princess Obongo (Wilson) for business, but soon she realises the prophetic nature of her dream and embarks on a journey of sexual awakening.
There’s no real drive in the movie, other than a regular zoom into Romay’s mind as if Franco just wants to make sure it hasn’t run away. The Princess seems to be up to something, possibly world domination but it’s never clear.
Princess Obongo is played by trans model and actress Ajita Wilson, She has an incredible lifestyle, the incredinly tall woman is accombaied by two naked slaves, often chained up, when she’s not seducing young women she spends the rest of her leisure time preforming rituals in the desert. Romay looks a little silly in her blonde wig but the camera rarely leaves her crack long enough to notice. Franco is as obsessed with her eroticisms as much as the Mediterranean islands the film is set in.
The entire film feels much like the fever dream that started it all off, there’s a slightly trippy edge to every encounter, from a pervy hotel concierge who follows Alice to the roof to watch her sunbather naked, to each of the heated encounters between Obongo and Alice, who’s on screen chemistry is on point but who’s multiple sexual encounters just don’t go anywhere.
It’s very much a Franco movie, there’s no denying it has his stereotypical style, branching out to include Ritual magic is probably the unique selling point however it’s just an hour of kink and 20 minutes of dream like dessert shots.
It was in the desert. She was there. It’s always the same woman. A strange woman. Her name is Tara. She’s dark skinned and very beautiful. She carries two beasts with her. A man and a woman. She lets them loose and they throw themselves upon me. She laughs. And suddenly she’s dead… with a strange animal upon her. – Alice
Without the promise of a plot, Franco gives himself carte blance to just make a movie that would interest him and that’s exactly what he did, a personal prono movie that he shares with the world, the taboo forbidden fruit, a gorgeous black transexual and a willing blonde victim, their battle ground the bed and their weapon, life changing orgasms, it feels like a hardcore banned sex comic come to life.
Once you get past the fetish, or if this doesn’t interest you in any way there won’t be much to grasp the attention and the film will just eventually end for whatever reason, a lot of people will feel cheated for the fact that it doesn’t go anywhere, but alas it’s spaced out nature fits the chilled island hedonistic atmosphere.
With some effort to give the magic some reasoning, this could have been a real game changer for Franco and the Non Western Folk Horror scene, a rare genre which needed to be blown up, but it wasn’t the right time. But if you’ve ever wanted to see a naked tea party or wondered how the other half live I’d reckon this eagle eyed insight will answer all of your questions.
Related:Mansion of the living dead (1985), Sex with Love (2003), She Killed in Ecstasy (1971), Kleinhoff hotel (1977)
Lists: Jesus Franco,