Angel Heart, The Believers, The Serpent and the Rainbow. After this run of relatively – I’m so going to say it – boring voodoo films at the end of the 80s, there came…Headhunter! Who needed a budget, big names, or a theatrical release when you could rent a video starring the amazing Kay Lenz (The Initiation of Sarah, Stripped to Kill) as a detective hunting a voodoo demon?
This one has everything you want from a crappy 1980s horror flick. Wayne Crawford (who wrote the 80s classic Valley Girl), plays a detective who finds out his wife is a lesbian, which leads to some cheesy love/hate triangle drama and a threesome – as Wayne fights his wife and her lover! Awesome. As an added 80s bonus, the wife happens to be June Chadwick, aka: Lydia of V.
Meanwhile, a supernatural force has traveled over from Africa to behead – how timely is this – refugees that have come to Miami to escape the evil. Thankfully, the immigration process fails to keep them safe, and heads roll! So Kay and Wayne are on the case, delving into the mysteries of magic rituals, curses, and supernatural murder.
While there’s some good gore (a dream sequence involving knife stabs to the neck is particularly gruesome), my biggest gripe with this silly film is that the demon is almost exclusively just a “camera POV” until the kick ass climax. We finally get a full-blown, gnarly demon battling Kay and Wayne, and it’s 80s horror video rental perfection.
Now, while I love me some Kay, the true shining star here is Wayne Crawford. He rules, and many of his attempts to chase down the demon are actually funny. He crashes out a window not once, but twice through the course of the film! And his reactions to the horrors he encounters are priceless.
Best of all, when he finally confronts the demon with his chainsaw in hand, his war cry is, “All right, ooga booga, let’s dance.”
And when he survives the horror, he grabs his big boss man (cutie Steve Kanaly of Dallas) and gives him a long, hard kiss on the lips.
Wayne totally should have had a horror career on par with that of Tom Atkins.