Welcome back to the tomb o’ faithful fiends! As my examination of the films that shaped my macabre summers of my youth continues, I am joined once again by that arch-fiend of the art world Griffin Hartter as we look at the 1972 AIP cross genre thriller Blacula!
Blacula, starring the King of Cartoons himself William Marshall in the title role, is the tale of an African Prince cursed to a life of vampirism by Dracula himself after appealing to The Count to help him fight the slave trade in 1780. Blacula is soon imprisoned within a coffin where he lies dormant for nearly two centuries. Flash forward to 1972 as two interior decorators purchase the coffin and inadvertently free the monster. Soon Blacula discovers the lovely Tina who he believes is the reincarnation of his deceased wife Luva as he cuts a bloody path across Los Angeles.
I first caught Blacula late at night one sweltering summer, and it seemed surreal to say the least. Maybe it was the mixing of two grindhouse staples, the vampire film and the Blaxploitation movie, or perhaps it was seeing a familiar face from Saturday Morning in an entirely different role, or maybe it was my un-air conditioned room and the fast food I scarfed earlier in the day. Either way I loved the film, and it still inspires waves of nostalgia with each viewing.
While it is dated and contains some truly over the top stereotypes (the interior decorators suffer the most), the film is still a fun product of its time with plenty of entertainment value due mainly to Marshall’s amazing performance.
If you want to check the film out for yourself (along with its sequel Scream Blacula Scream) head here!
Until next time ghouls, Stay Spooky!
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