Blacula (1972) Film Review 3/5

Roaring in from the darkness, spreading evil and Black power everywhere he goes, is the African Prince Mamuwalde, better known as Blacula (William Marshall)! That’s right, a black vampire that isn’t named Blade. (Aside: Notice how every ‘back to the motherland’ type mentions the fact that black people were royalty in Africa, but slaves in America? Isn’t it pretty impossible for 20 million people to all be kings and queens and princesses? Who’d farm? Who’d scrape up the animal shit? Prince Mamuwalde sure as hell wouldn’t.)

Mamuwalde and his love Luva (Vonetta McGee) are on a mission to Europe, and their goal is to end the slave trade. There’s only one problem, though. One of the stops on their trip through the halls of power is a visit to Count Dracula’s (Charles Macauley) house, and he’s got a taste for dark meat, if you know what I mean and I think you do. That’s right, Drac’s got jungle fever, and I don’t mean Ebola virus. He’s got designs on Luva, and no pesky lover is going to stand in his way.

Blacula fights bacula, and with bloody-tears in his eyes, the Count sends Mamuwalde into the cold sleep of the undead grave with the curse… of his name! Blacula is born, and poor Luva is left to rot and die.

Or is she?

The year is 1972, and Blacula is discovered by two extremely gay LA interior directors/interracial gay couple, Bobby (Ted Harris) and Billy (Rick Metzler), both of whom end up becoming Fagulas. Once Blacula is free, he’s running around LA, indiscriminately killing cabbies, until he sees her. Luda, reborn! Or maybe just another mocha-colored hottie named Tina (also Vonetta McGee).

Lots of people are being sucked dry (and not in the way Bobby and Billy would like), and it’s up to Gordon Thomas M.D. (Thalmus Rasulala!) and the one good white person in LA, Lt. Jack Peters (Gordon Pinsent) to stop his reign of, what Skillet (the best character in the flick, played by Ji-Tu Cumbuka) would call, funky-fresh terror and stylish capewear.

This film does go astray, unfortunately. There are lots of deliberately cheesy things (like the credits with a vampire bat that keeps fucking blood droplets that turn into women) and there are lots of cheesy things that come from odd acting and a wooden script (like the dripping-with-gay-overtones staking of Black Fagula). Hell, at least it is funny, when there’s not boring and shitty talk about black politics.

The best feature of this movie? Finally, we have someone giving us Dracula’s take on the slave trade, race relations, and the slave trade! We’ve been waiting for years, and very patiently at that, and now we’ve finally got the precious nuggets of info that we couldn’t have lived without knowing! But, come on, Charles Macauley? Christopher Lee wasn’t doing shit in ’72, and he probably needed the money. You should’ve spent a little less on Afro-sheen and sideburn maintenance, and spent a little more on actors.

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One Response to “Blacula (1972) Film Review 3/5”

  1. In Honor of Dr. MLK - Blacula « Subtle Bluntness Says:

    […] blaxploitation horror movie so far (I’ve yet to see Abby), the epic 1972 classic, Blacula. The review is here, the trailer is […]

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