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Blacula (1972)

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Plot Summary:
"Interior decorators buy the coffin of an African prince bitten by Dracula centuries before and bring it back to Los Angeles. The African prince starts feeding his hunger while following a woman who looks like his departed wife."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 11 August 2003 My Rating: out of 5


African Prince hoping to end slavery is betrayed by racist Transylvanian Count Dracula, a vampire who turns the Prince into one of his own (though he'll probably make him use his own washroom), cursed 'With my name, I curse you...Blacula!' Cut to wakka-chakka 's America where gay art collectors (!) unwittingly unleash Mamuwalde (AKA Blacula), who now has his sites set on Vonetta McGee, a woman who looks an awful lot like his lost love. Awww, isn't that cute? Add Thalmus Rasulala as a nosy doctor and would-be investigator, and Elisha Cook Jr. (remember the scared, weird little guy from 'House on Haunted Hill'?) as a one-armed hospital employee, and you've got a classic cheesy horror pic. Also look, out for the downright hilarious Ketty Lester as a seriously peeved cab driver who dares mess with

Well-made under the circumstances, this is weirder than the usual blaxploitation film and gets a boost from the deep-voiced, Shakespearean actor William Marshall who gives a commanding lead performance. Who knew he'd end up on 'Pee-Wee's Playhouse'? It's hardly scary, but there's some weird camera angles and memorable moments (notably the touching finale and Cook's final scene, probably the only scary bit in the film- there's practically no violence and less sex than the usual blaxploitation film). Gotta love the songs by The Hues Corporation too (C'mon you remember their hit- 'Rock the Boat, Rock the Boat, Baby!').

One for fans of cheese, though not incompetently made. Marshall lifts it by creating an almost sympathetic and likeable character...I dare anyone to refrain from shedding a tear at the finale.

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