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Donald F. Glut
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Blacula is the story of Manuwalde, an African Prince. This movie presents a modern version of the classic Dracula story in a very chilling and inventive way. In 1780, after visiting Count Dracula, Manuwalde is turned into a vampire and locked in a coffin.. The scene shifts to 1972, when two antique collectors transport the coffin to Los Angeles. The two men open the coffin and unleash Blacula on the city of Los Angeles. Blacula soon finds Tina, who is his wife, Luva, reincarnated, and gains her love. Tina's friend, Dr. Gordon, discovers Blacula is a vampire and hunts him down. Written by
Clint Poskozim <Kuest000@aol.com>
At the time of Blacula's release, studios such as American International and Hammer were pumping out cheap horror flicks for an ever-thirsting legion of young fans (myself included). At the same time, blaxploitation films were also making big bank . . . so why not combine the two genres? It was pure marketing genius, backed by some of the biggest box office of 1972. The great Shakespearean actor William Marshall (Dr. Daystrom to you original Star Trek fans) plays the tormented African prince magnificently; asleep for 200 years, he awakes to find an African-American culture riddled with blaxploitation cliches. It's bad enough such a dignified man has the hunger -- he also has to deal with these people in giant heels and 'fros. The juxtaposition works as a statement about what slavery did to African culture, but is never overtly mentioned. . .after all, this is a horror flick too! Extra points for a musical appearance by The Hughes Corporation (before their big hit, "Rock the Boat") and a fine supporting performance by Denise Nicholas, a wonderful actress who should have had a bigger career. More silly than scary, Blacula endures as a unique film and pop-culture time capsule worth seeing.
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