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Saturday, October 05, 2013

Blackula (1972) - William Crain




Blacula is a exploitation film from the early seventies that cashed in on the horror genre. Like many other grindhouse movies of that era, the movie is made on a hairline budget. Several scenes swap continuity for sound effects and action. For example, there is a fight around a table with a candelabra on it. The fight overtakes the table and the candles go flying. However, the fight continues and the candles are back in the holder. Nothing huge. Just fun to poke at when your watching it with my eyes.

William Marshall does a fantastic job of playing Prince Mamawalde, a thousands year old African Prince that was turned into a Blacula after being double crossed by the actual Dracula. Now, awake in seventies Los Angeles, Blacula is out to find his beautiful Nubian Queen. However, he must quench his thirst. A thirst for blood. A doctor has his suspicions after finding a couple of bodies with vampire bites on their necks and he starts to investigate.

The plot seems simple enough. Nothing too crazy. Somehow it does a good job of holding your interest. The movie is hardly scary but you can see where they really tried to do a good job. Somethings just bother me about it. It bothers me that when Blacula goes into blood-lust mode he grows copious amounts of facial hair. I guess it just proves his manliness, but it seems a bit unnecessary. His cape is pretty sweet though. Thalmus Rasulala is really fun. He does a great job as a supporting actor and our hero of the picture. His investigation is pretty interesting and I like the people he hangs around with.


There isn't much else. I would recommend this movie to film students that are looking to study film from the seventies. It is such a victim of its time. The hair and the clothes. The language. The characters are all stereotypes from the seventies, it's great.

  • While the film was in its production stages, William Marshall worked with the producers to make sure his character had some dignity. His character's name was changed from Andrew Brown to Mamuwalde and received a background story about his being an African prince who had been turned into a vampire.
  • The musical group performing in the club is The Hues Corporation.
  • The film spawned a sequel, Scream Blacula, Scream




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