6.2/10
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Ganja & Hess (1973)

Trailer
1:39 | Trailer
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
Learn more

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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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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 »

Alternate Versions

Version entitled Blood Couple is heavily cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) 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 »

User Reviews

 
Ganja & Hess
3 April 2005 | by Bunuel1976See 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."


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

French | 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

Gross USA:

$21,197

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,197
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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