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BLACULA

Director: WILLIAM CRAIN

U.S.A. • 1972 • COLOUR • DIGITAL VIDEO • 93 MIN


The ‘blaxploitation’ movie’s main entry into the vampire genre, Blacula follows the story of Mamuwalde (William Marshall), an African prince enslaved by Dracula when turned into a vampire and locked in a coffin for 100 years. Unexpectedly, he is released into modern-day Los Angeles after the contents of Dracula’s castle have been purchased by two gay antique dealers and the ancient prince must come to terms with modern America.

The film is a curious hybrid. In true blaxploitation fashion, it is in part a campy romp that revels in the excesses of 1970s music, fashion and decor, and features comic action sequences of hapless white cops unsuccessfully battling the ever increasing number of black vampires. Alongside this however, the film also develops into a tragic love story as Mamuwalde struggles with his monstrous existence and attempts to win over the woman he believes to be the reincarnation of his murdered princess. Long before Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, Blacula re-inscribed the vampire film with a tragic sense of destiny and re-imagined the vampire as a romantic, self-sacrificing hero.

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