“Ooga Booga” is the latest horror/comedy film from director Charles Band. Band has been responsible for some really cheesy but fun movies of the years. “The Evil Bong Films”, “The Gingerdead Man” and “Blood Dolls”, just to name a few. He averages a couple of films a year, this year he brings us the story of an evil doll (seems to be a favourite theme of his). Ooga Booga is a black doll made by “Hambo” the pig (played by Chance Reardon), a disgruntled host of a kids tv show. After “Devin” (Wade F Wilson) is caught up in a robbery and killed by dirty cops his spirit is transferred into the doll. With the help of his girlfriend “Donna” (Ciarra Carter) Devin must exact his revenge in order to have his spirit free of the doll.
So yeah. That’s pretty much the story. Even though this sounds like a ridiculous and non-sensical plot for a film, it had the potential to reach some kind of cult status amongst hardcore fans of this style of filmmaking. You have to acknowledge Charles original idea. He shoots this thing really well, lots of low down camera panning from Ooga’s point of view. It’s a very cute doll though and I’m not sure if I was supposed to find it menacing. If I was then it failed, I actually thought it was very funny. I will make a quick mention of Amber Strauser who plays (Peggy Suey) in the opening ten minutes of the film. She looked stunning and did a solid job, it’s a shame her role in the film is basically useless.
The issues with this one (wow-wee). The acting is horribly over the top, I’m sure this is done on purpose and the actors have been directed that way. However it makes for some truly cringe worthy moments. The opening scene is as painful as they come, we watch “Hambo” the pig looking at pornography and talking in the most annoying voice ever recorded on film. Nobody speaks like that not even on a kids show, and I mean nobody! The dialogue for the whole film is completely unrealistic even for bigots and racists (which the film is made up of). They just wouldn’t sound the way they do throughout this film. There is a constant game-show/tv sitcom jingle and a corny score several times during the course of this, it sounds really out-of-place.
To add to all that the convenience store the murder takes place in just looks like somebody’s house (maybe two rooms in a house). It’s really poorly designed, you’d think you would at least shoot in a real convenience store. The way Devin actually transfers to the doll was also really lame and unclear as to how that took place. I very much doubt a doll this small would actually be able to do any harm to anyone. I guess I can let that part of it go, otherwise if you can’t take this for what it is your better off giving it a miss. There is virtually no blood or gore which was very disappointing. The comedic moments were few and far between. This over the top group of racist white guys spout off something about “Porkoff hitler and his donut” in reference to the cops…(really random and doesn’t make any sense) This whole thing is painfully unfunny.
To sum this one up in one word I would say it’s “uneventful”. There is barely a story, the effects and the set designs are embarrassingly bad. Some of the acting is okay, if not for the parts that are purposely over the top. The masturbation scene, all be it very wrong was pretty funny but that was the only comedic part. I was hoping this would be destined for the cult status pile, suffice it to say just the regular bin will do fine.
My rating for “Ooga Booga” is 2/10