Title: Ooga Booga
Director: Charles Band
Writer: Kent Roudebush
Starring: Ciarra Carter, Gregory Niebel, Chance A. Rearden, Stacy Keach, Karen Black
Runtime: 87 mins
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Ooga Booga starts out with the filming of a kid’s show hosted by Hambo (a farmhand with a clown wig and pig nose). However, Hambo is too involved with alcohol and masturbating in his dressing room to care about his cue and his duties as the host of this children’s TV show. Anyone who had the nerve to watch Zombies vs Strippers will remember Hambo making an appearance in there as well. This recurring “universe character” for Full Moon seems to be a really awful one and doesn’t even provide humor like I assume he’s supposed to. Carrying on, after a lengthy episode of Hambo’s antics, the pig clown is fired and we finally start making our way into meeting the main characters. By this point, you already know you’re in for trouble. If the director (Charles Band) felt this was entertaining enough to spend an exhausting 15+ minutes on, then the rest of the movie can’t get much better.
Beyond the introduction, Hambo proves to be of no real relevance to the plot. In fact, his only service to the movie is to introduce the doll Ooga Booga. Obviously, this shouldn’t have taken 15 minutes in an already short movie, but that’s what it was. His introduction of Ooga Booga comes after our introduction of a young black man, Devin. Devin is the main character of this movie, a black man who has just graduated med school. For some inexplicable reason, he carries on some friendship with this crude, washed up kids’ show host Hambo. Hambo, appreciating Devin’s friendship, gives him the Ooga Booga doll as a token of his appreciation. With doll in hand, Devin heads home only to get mixed up in a convenience store robbery and murder. When the police arrive, the racism really cranks up and Devin is blamed for the murder of the store clerk (because he’s black) by, get this….Officer White. White proceeds to shoot him, and this segues into Devin’s soul being transported into the Ooga Booga doll due to an electrical short in some slushy machine (yeah, it’s that bad).
The rest of the movie is spent with Devin inhabiting Ooga Booga’s body. Along with his girlfriend Donna, he sets out to exact revenge on the racists who were responsible for his death. Leading him on a chase to hunt down Officer White, the three rednecks who really robbed the store and a crooked racist judge who is actually the “mastermind” overseeing all of these characters.
Quite honestly, it’s probably for the best that Devin dies early in this one. Wade Forrest Wilson (who plays Devin) is horrendous to watch on screen and is probably the worst actor in a film filled with a ton of after school special acting. Thankfully, he’s then replaced by a doll who never says anything more than “ooga booga” (and frankly, the doll has more charisma than Wilson). The only decent acting job from any of the cast is that of Stacy Keach (as the racist judge) and a couple of scenes involving Karen Black as some crazy TV-obsessed shut-in. Black does especially well, but even her scenes seem awkward when they’re framed to be comedic, but the writing just comes off creepy.
The whole movie has identity issues like this it seems, never knowing which way to go. One moment it’s trying to be fun (and I mean trying…not succeeding), while the next moment we have awkward drama. They even try to shoe horn some “deeper meaning” here when we find out the backstory of one of the cops involved in the shooting. Just to give you an idea of the missteps, in one scene we’re treated to Ooga Booga jerking off to Donna as she takes a shower. Sure, this could have proved to be humorous in the right hands. However, in the hands of Band, this is actually the follow-up scene to Donna being raped (she’s taking the traditional post-rape shower). So, the humor of a doll jerking it is completely lost in an awkward moment. We won’t even mention how completely and utterly ridiculous and pointless the rape scene was in the first place.
Littered with awkward moments such as this, unnatural dialogue, poor writing and robotic performances, Ooga Booga is hard to watch. This is a perfect example of camp…camp that doesn’t work. It’s not even so bad you can laugh at it, due to the awkwardness of it all. Furthermore, all the kill scenes are generic, thus gore fans don’t even have that to look forward to. Plain and simple, this is something you should just go ahead and avoid unless you’re a real glutton for B-movie punishment.
Filed Under: Reviews