Blacula (1972) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Blacula (1972) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on November 12th, 2019 | Movie Review | Vampire, Classic Horror, Thriller, Black Horror

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It's about an African prince who gets turned into a vampire, locked in a coffin for 200 years and then moved to L.A. by a couple of interior decorators.

Blacula was directed by William Crain (who also directed Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde) and stars William Marshall (from Abby, Scream Blacula Scream), Vonetta Mcgee (from The Norliss Tapes) and Gordon Pinsent (from Blood Clan).

Blacula! - Dracula's Soul Brother!

Blacula Review

Blacula is one of the more famous among many Blaxploitation movies from the 1970's, and by far the most famous among classic black horror movies. I just recently watched both Nosferatu (1922) and Dracula (1931) and figured now would be the perfect time to finally watch Blacula, a movie I've actually wanted to watch for years.

I expected Blacula to be a goofy horror comedy jammed with stereotypes, just based off the name alone. What I experienced was something entirely different. Blacula was actually a serious film. At no time did it try to be a comedy. I mean, it was low-budget horror from the 70's with ridiculous practical effects which in itself was hilarious, but the intention was serious horror.

Blacula was an African prince who met with Count Dracula back in the 1700's to negotiate the end of the slave trade. Dracula, however, was super racist and instead turned him into a vampire as a way to make him suffer. Fast-forward a couple hundred years and we find Dracula's estate on the market. It's purchased by some interior decorators and his coffin (which they never thought to look inside) gets shipped to Los Angeles and Blacula gets released into the world.

Blacula was a fun watch, it had all the funky music, foxy ladies and jive talkin' you look for a black horror flick. But it also had a lot of homophobic slurs that were weird and unexpected. The movie made a point to show the unfair treatment directed toward black people by society, but at the same time they spewed out hostile and ugly comments toward gay people left and right.

It was an uncomfortable reminder of how people are people. Just because one group are marginalized doesn't mean they support fair rights for other marginalized groups. It's a lot like the women's suffrage movement, women fought for the rights of white women, not necessarily for the rights of black women. Racism is ugly, but so is homophobia. Blacula was against one and totally cool with the other.

Worth Watching?

I think so. If you can look past the dated practical effects it's a really good movie that gives you a well-rounded experience, everything from social commentary to horror to romance. And funky disco. Lots of funky disco.

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