Suburban art gallery owner Brad Travis searches out Cassandra to perform an exorcism after a witch casts an awful spell on him, but he gets more than he bargained for.
The obvious comparisons to Fatal Attraction are just, but Black Magic Woman is 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, wherupon 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.
At times brilliant at times bland, the formula of drawing the audience in by following other's work, only to snap them away at the last minute is an intruiging one.