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Ganja & Hess (1973)

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:
...
Dr. Hess Green
Marlene Clark ...
Ganja Meda
Bill Gunn ...
George Meda
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
...
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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

20 April 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Vampire  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby 2.0)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was released theatrically several times by different distributors and under different titles. Initially released as "Ganja and Hess" by Kelly/Jordan Enterprises in 1973, it failed at the box-office and was then picked up by Heritage Enterprises. Heritage re-edited the film and released it under the title "Blood Couple" later that same year. This version included 15 minutes of footage not used in the original release print, despite being 33 minutes shorter overall, and was marketed as a blaxploitation film. This same cut was released to theaters by Goldstone Films as "Double Possession" in 1975. 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

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
(uncredited)
By Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

This is an odd vampire movie to say the least.
17 November 2002 | by (Northfield, MN) – See all my reviews

This is an odd movie to say the least. Dr. Hess Green (Duane Jones) acquires the "addiction" from a ceremony while travelling in Africa and becomes, basically, a vampire. Not your standard fictional vampire mind you, but someone who has a hunger for blood and cannot die. After that, all similarities with your standard vampire end. He walks in the daylight, sleeps in a bed, goes to church and does not have fangs. He lives on a large estate and has a butler and chauffeur who take care of him. There is a bit of narration from the butler who knows about the doctor's affliction, but it is mostly to get us up to speed at the beginning of the film. A ways into the film Ganja (Marlene Clark) comes to stay with Dr. Hess. She finds evidence of strange goings on and tells Hess an interesting story from her childhood. Somehow this leads to their getting married and him performing the ceremony on her to give her the same affliction he has.

There are parts of the film that have a lot of dialog and then other parts that have very little, if any. There are also some extended scenes from a gospel singing church that look more like a documentary than a fictional vampire movie. Flashback scenes are interspersed with dream sequences and at times it is difficult to tell if it is present reality or a dream. There are a few violent scenes where the doctor feeds including one at a whorehouse where he somewhat violently kills his victim and laps up the blood that has spilled. In another scene he robs a medical clinic, walking away with their supply of blood in his leather satchel.

I can't say that this is a great movie, but it is somewhat entertaining, if not a little slow. When the film was first screened the producers were disappointed that it was not a traditional "blaxpoitation" film and cut it down from 110 minutes to 78 minutes. It bombed and was soon forgotten.

All Day Entertainment released the fully restored dvd to much fanfare from fans of the movie back in 1998 and it is still in release. There is an essay from Tim Lucas and and a commentary from producer Chiz Schultz, actress Marlene Clark, cinematographer James Hinton and soundtrack composer Sam Waymon. The full retail price is $30 and I am certainly glad I rented it from Netflix instead of buying it, but some collectors might consider it for their collection, mostly those intereseted in really offbeat, independent vampire films, or collectors of interesting black cinema (blaxploitation it is not).


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