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Ganja & Hess (1973)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror  |  20 April 1973 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 663 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 62 critic

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

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Cast

Cast overview:
Duane Jones ...
Dr. Hess Green
Marlene Clark ...
Ganja Meda
Bill Gunn ...
George Meda
Sam Waymon ...
Rev. Luther Williams
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
Edit

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:

The Devil wanted their souls...She wanted their bodies and more! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Kickstarter funded Spike Lee joint Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is a modern reinterpretation of Ganja & Hess. Bill Gunn also helped Spike Lee write the script for his new film. See more »

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.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood
(uncredited)
Lyrics by William Cowper
19th century camp meeting melody
Performed by children's choir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ganja & Hess
3 April 2005 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I first heard of GANJA & HESS (1973) on the Internet but, after reading several favorable reviews, I decided to purchase it and I'm glad I did – though I've only watched it once so far. While I absolutely adore the "old" horror films, it's refreshing that once in a while a film comes along that treats the genre with extra sensitivity and maturity: Bill Gunn's approach, while peripheral in intent, is highly original and invigorating. The music score adds that much more to it, while the photography and editing techniques envelop the whole in a truly stunning visual style. It is inconceivable that such a seminal (and relatively recent) piece of work was almost lost to the ravages of time, not to mention the ignorance and pretensions of commercially-minded distributors!

The DVD's Audio Commentary, though limited (due to the obvious absence of Gunn and Duane Jones), was quite informative and the cast and crew members involved were certainly enthusiastic, harboring a genuine affection for the film. The essay co-written by Tim Lucas was also very interesting, filling as it does the "gaps" concerning the film's background and its chequered history along the years.

I would have liked that the notorious shorter version of the film, BLOOD COUPLE – complete with alternate credits and extra footage, shot by Gunn but discarded when assembling the original director's cut – could have been included on the DVD but, when I put this question to David Kalat (All Day's President), this is what he had to say:

"On GANJA & HESS, all of the parties involved in the original version hated and despised the BLOOD COUPLE recut and everything it represented to them. They worked hard, for little pay, to make a Black art film, and found their work abused and maltreated. 25 years later, through the DVD, they found an opportunity to try again. None of them--the producer, the editor, the DP--would have agreed to include the BLOOD COUPLE cut on the DVD, and I respected their wishes. I used Tim's article as a way to describe that alternate version, even if it wasn't otherwise represented."


21 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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