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26 user 66 critic

Ganja & Hess (1973)

After being stabbed with an ancient, germ-infested knife, a doctor's assistant finds himself with an insatiable desire for blood.

Director:

(as Bill Gunn)

Writer:

(as Bill Gunn)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Duane Jones ...
Dr. Hess Green
Marlene Clark ...
Ganja Meda
William Gunn ...
George Meda (as Bill Gunn)
Sam L. Waymon ...
Rev. Luther Williams (as Sam Waymon)
Leonard Jackson ...
Archie
Candece Tarpley ...
Girl in Bar
Richard Harrow ...
Dinner Guest
John Hoffmeister ...
Jack Sargent
Betty Barney ...
Singer in Church
...
Queen of Myrthia
Betsy Thurman ...
Poetess
Enrico Fales ...
Dr. Green's Son
Tommy Lane ...
Pimp
Tara Fields ...
Woman with Baby
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Storyline

Dr. Hess Green, an archaeologist overseeing an excavation at the ancient civilization of Myrthia, is stabbed by his research assistant, who then commits suicide. When Hess wakes up, he finds that his wounds have healed, but he now has an insatiable thirst for blood, due to the knife carrying ancient germs. Soon after, Hess meets his former assistant's wife, Ganja. Though Ganja is initially concerned about her missing husband, she soon falls for Hess. Though they are initially happy together, Ganja will eventually learn the truth about Hess, and about her husband. Will she survive the revelation? Will Hess? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Bad blood runs between them. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 April 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Vampire  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby 2.0)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Ganja Meda: [after becoming dependent on blood] Why am I always cold?
Dr. Hess Green: [quietly] I don't know.
Ganja Meda: Are you always cold?
Dr. Hess Green: Uh hm.
Ganja Meda: What have you done about it?
Dr. Hess Green: Grown used to it.
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Connections

Edited into The Comix Scrutinizer: Witch Doctor #0 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
(uncredited)
By Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

 
Nothing can survive the shadows.
15 July 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There are others that can talk about the symbolism in this film much better than I can. It was made for Black audiences, and I certainly won't try to describe what director Bill Gunn was trying to say.

This film effectively ended Bill Gunn's short career. He was supposed to make a Blaxploitation film like Blacula. He failed his producers by making an art film, which they chopped up and released under another name. This is the fully restored film with an amazingly beautiful score by Sam Waymon.

If you are looking for horror or blaxploitation, you came to the wrong place. This film was shown at Cannes - the only American entry that year - and received a standing ovation.


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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