Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blacula (1972)

A vampire cursed by Dracula himself is reawaken a century later in Los Angeles after being brought overseas by a pair of antiquities dealers. The so-called Blacula stalks the streets of LA until he comes across the reincarnation of his wife Luva, whose love he attempts to win back as a Scientific Investigator seeks out the cause for the recent rash of deaths occurring down town. Outside of the obvious urban influence the film represents, it also breaks many other social taboos, such as introducing two gay leads in the opening act, while exploring the racial discrimination that was commonly found in the police work of the time. Marshall and Rasulala offer strong performances as the Soul Brother counterparts to Dracula and Van Helsing, and none of the cast lead the film into stereotypical self-ridicule. The script is written well enough, but there is not enough originality or differentiation to distinguish this film from any other average Dracula incarnation. There are, however, ambitious attempts at low-budget special FX and make-up design that is strikingly similar to DAWN OF THE DEAD. Once the novelty of the film wears off, it doesn't quite make the grade, but I don't have any means for comparison for this film against any of the other Blaxploitation entries of the time.

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.
Number of views: 1.



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7 comments:

  1. It has a little bit of originality in that it's one of relatively few vampire films where


    ****SPOILER AHEAD*****




    the lead creature commits suicide at the end. Marshall is awesome and an immense screen presence. He's also in the blaxploitation EXORCIST clone, ABBY.

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  2. Just recently rewatched BLACULA and I must say, I enjoy it's sequel SCREAM, BLACULA, SCREAM much more. But still, this is a fun little blaxploitation entry and venoms5, you are correct, William Marshall is wonderful. He plays the character very elegantly with almost Shakespearean dignity.

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  3. There are some really odd quirks to it that puzzle me.
    For example, why does Dracula talk about giving our hero 'his curse?' This is a pure evil version of Dracula,- as opposed to Frank Langella's- so why does he say that?

    Also, when was Dracula involved in the slave trade? Not that it's out-of-character to use people for ulterior gain, but who thought of that idea?

    Lastly, the lanterns that explode when thrown. Huh?

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  4. Im half way through SCREAM and so far I entirely agree Jenn, and Venoms no one can deny the strength of Marshall in the lead role, he certainly has presence necessary to fill the shoes!

    Outside of exploding lanterns, my favorite flub was how the two antique dealers light one of the lanterns and set it to their left, but their shadows come from light sources behind them, to their right, and to their left in one of many obvious technical errors.

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  5. Ive always been curious about these two movies but have never seen them, I also hear the second one is better, gotta get down to actually watching them! Ill watch these two plus Abby! A nice dose of 70s horror!

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  6. Its one of those little niche films I have always wanted to explore, but well worth the time Franco!

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  7. Marshall is also imposing on the season two episode of the original STAR TREK entitled 'The Ultimate Computer'. He also appears on regular intervals in an episode of BONANZA (it was on again the day before yesterday) wherein he plays a racially discriminated opera singer. He has a helluva singing voice as well.

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