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Black Magic Woman (1991)

A cross-breed of Fatal Attraction and The Believers, distinguished by a genuinely surprising final twist and a nice feel for its Los Angeles artworld milieu. Mark Hamill, a gallery owner, takes advantage of his girlfriend to have an affair which ends badly, whereupon he starts to suffer from voodoo persecution as dead poultry is hung over his bed and blood-filled eggs hidden under his pillow. Because it follows so closely the structure of Fatal Attraction, the film cannily pulls its finish out of left field, at first appearing to set up a variant of the famous deleted 'Madame Butterfly' finale of Adrian Lyne's film only to come up with a final sequence that redefines everything that has gone before. However, while the last half-hour is effective, the film is still rather bland overall, and takes an inordinate amount of time to get going, especially when it is establishing Hamill's stud status with a succession of soapily silly sex-in-the-showers scenes.

First Published In: Empire (issue unknown)


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