Blacula (1972)

Blacula (1972)

Director: William Crain
Starring: William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas

An African prince is turned into a vampire by Count Dracula and sealed away for hundreds of years until he is revived in modern LA and finds himself entranced by a woman who reminds him of his lost wife.

I find blaxploitation to be an interesting movement in film, being both exploitative and celebrative at the same time. You'd expect a movie like this to be more the former than the latter, but I'd honestly argue that this stands close to the famous Horror of Dracula. You heard me right. William Marshall is amazing in the title role, with his strong physical presence, commanding voice and genteel manners (when not in full bloodsucker mode, inexplicably characterized by sudden muttonchops). Seriously. He's like a taller, slimmer James Earl Jones. I'd love to see his Othello sometime. Thalmus Rasulala fills the Van Helsing role well as police scientist Dr. Gordon Thomas. You may still be doubting me, but this is actually a good vampire movie and one of my favorite blaxploitation films. Give this one a try.

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