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Ganja & Hess (1973)

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

Director:

Bill Gunn

Writer:

Bill Gunn
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Cast

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

Double Possession... The Story Of A Man And Woman Possessed By The Devil! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 April 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Vampire See more »

Filming Locations:

Croton-on-Hudson, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,406, 3 June 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,197, 1 November 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Dolby 2.0)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Dr. Hess Green: [Ganja phones looking for her missing husband and is forced to ask for a place to stay] Where are you, Mrs. Meda?
Ganja Meda: I'm at the goddamn airport, that's where I am!
Dr. Hess Green: Tell me where you are exactly, and I will send the limousine for you.
Ganja Meda: I'm standing in front of Pan American, and the driver can't miss me, cause I'm that evil.
[hangs up]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Version entitled Blood Couple is heavily cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Bungelii Work Song
Used by permission of Folkways Records Inc.
Recorded by Musee de l'Homme
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the greatest films of the 1970's.
4 November 1998 | by RigorSee all my reviews

Ganja and Hess is a landmark film in so many ways. It is a remarkable achievement technically and in terms of fractured narrative. It is a remarkable addition to the African-American cannon of film. It is a remarkable boundary crossing experiment, aggressively combining elements of the blacksploitation horror film with the "art" film. Ganja and Hess is a vampire movie that says more about African-American history, sexual politics, capitalism and its relation to sexuality, colonialism and identity and spirituality than most other films. Find this film!


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