‘Blood sacrifice of the Simbazi’
Curse of Simba is a 1965 British horror film directed by Lindsay Shonteff (Devil Doll; Night, After Night, After Night) from a screenplay ‘Lion Man’ by Brian Clemens [as Tom O’Grady] for Gala Film. Additional scenes and dialogue were provided by Leigh Vance.
Action scenes are set in Africa but were filmed in London over eighteen days on an budget that over-ran to £55,000 due to rain.
In the UK, the film was reduced to 62 minutes and released by Gala Film Distributors. In the US, an 83 minute version was released by Allied Artists as Curse of the Voodoo double-billed with Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster. It is also apparently known as Voodoo Blood Death.
Bryant Haliday (Devil Doll; The Projected Man; Tower of Evil), Dennis Price (The Earth Dies Screaming; Horror Hospital), Lisa Daniely, Ronald Leigh-Hunt (Out of the Unknown; Frankenstein ), Mary Kerridge.
White hunter Mike Stacey kills a lion in Simbazi country in Africa, so he is cursed by the tribal chief.
When the curse that manifests itself with hallucinations follows him to England he consults an expert on the subject. The expert informs Stacey the only way to remove the curse is to return to Africa and personally kill the man who put it on him…
“… with suspense, flat acting and trite story add up to soggy thrills, and as a shoestring production it’s pretty threadbare,” Variety
“Curse of the Voodoo might just have passed muster on a dramatic level if the viewer genuinely cared about Stacey and his desperate efforts to avoid his strange fate. But the character as written is a thoroughly unpleasant bully and drunk, totally lacking in any redeeming qualities that might have evoked sympathy.” John Hamilton, X-Cert: The British Independent Horror Film: 1951 – 1970
” … it’s all so predictable, leaden paced, uninvolving and lacking in tension and suspense that this attempt to intrigue the audience with the ‘natural or supernatural?’ mystery angle is doomed to failure…” Mike Hodges, The Shrieking Sixties: British Horror Films 1960 – 1969
” … a string of clichés that staggers from TV closeup to TV closeup with paralysing incompetence.” Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror
“The most terrifying thing in this film is Mary Kerridge as Stacey’s dreadful mother-in-law.” Gary A. Smith, Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956 – 1976
Cast and characters:
- Bryant Haliday … Mike Stacey
- Dennis Price … Major Lomas
- Lisa Daniely … Janet Stacey
- Ronald Leigh-Hunt … Doctor
- Mary Kerridge … Janet’s mother
- John Witty … Police Inspector
- Jean Lodge … Mrs. Lomas
- Beryl Cunningham … Nightclub dancer
- Louis Mahoney … African expert
- Danny Daniels … Simbaza Chief
Major Lomas: “Mr. Radlett, this is neither Southend, nor Surrey. These people are farther from civilisation than stone-age men.”
Janet Stacey: “First of all a native outside the door. Soon it’ll be snakes on the ceiling.”
- Hampstead Heath, North London
- Shepperton Studios
Image thanks: Wrong Side of the Art!