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An 18th century African statesman is transformed into a vampire, cursed with the name Blacula, and entombed in Dracula's Castle after he fails to convince the Count to support him in his cause to end the slave trade. Two hundred years later, a pair of interior decorators transport his coffin to L.A. where he awakes with an unquenchable thirst for human blood. As Blacula pursues a woman who resembles his long dead wife, her brother-in-law, a pathologist, investigates the string of carnage that follows in the vampire's wake.Written by
Molly Rose Steed
"Blacula" - can there be a title that would sound more promising for fans of 70s cult-material? And cult-stuff this is indeed! While "Blacula" of 1970 is certainly no highlight of 70s blaxploitation cinema, this is about as entertaining as it gets for lovers of cult-cinema, and an absolute must-see for all the blaxploitation enthusiast's out there. Plot and suspense are secondary, of course. This film is pure style and coolness, which is delivered in a highly entertaining manner.
In 1780, the African Prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall) is on a visit at Count Dracula's castle in Transsylvania with his wife Luva (Vonetta McGee). Mamuwalde, who wants to put an end to slave trade, falls on deaf ears with the evil Count who supports slavery. After a subsequent argument, Dracula bites Mamuwalde, turning him into a vampire, and locks him in a coffin for eternity. Almost two centuries later, a black/white couple of (very) gay interior decorators buy several pieces of furniture from Dracula's castle, including the coffin in which Mamuwalde was locked. Back in the United states, they open the coffin, releasing Mamuwalde, who has become a vampire... Blacula! And he subsequently runs into the beautiful Tina (also Vonetta McGee) who is the spitting image of his wife...
I did not expect extreme suspense, but what i was (a bit) disappointed with was the lack of gore. Whenever Blacula bites someone, I thought to myself that the whole thing wold be quite a bite cooler if he'd rip little pieces of flesh out (or do something else of the kind). The make-up is very cool, however. The atmosphere is generally very cool and typical for the funky 70s. William Marshall fits perfectly in the role of Blacula, and so does Thalmus Rasulala, who plays the hero character as a super-cool Shaft-style forensic specialist. For me personally, however, the absolute highlight is the sexy Vonetta McGee. I've been a fan of Vonetta McGee since I first saw her in Sergio Corbucci's Italian Western masterpiece "The Great Silence" of 1968 (one of my all-time favorite movies), and she sure is amazing here. Denise Nicholas is equally sexy as her sister. The movie is as sleaze-less as it is non-gory, however, so don't expect the amount of sex and nudity that you're probably used to from blaxploitation cinema. All things considered I have only one regret with "Blacula" - it should have been nastier! With more sex and violence, this could have been a great blaxploitation flick, but it is sadly too mild for my tastes. It is still a classic, however, and the funky soundtrack and super-cool 70s style make it even more enjoyable. Highly recommended to all the fans of blaxploitation and cult-cinema out there!
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