Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blacula (1972)

Blacula (USA, 1972) - Color, Director(s): William Crain
MPAA Rating: PG
[UK: 15]
Approx. 93 min.

Z-rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

B-factor: 4 out of 5 stars

Blacula!!!! Dracula's soul brother... or so the tagline says. Blacula is one of those cheesy classics that any self-respecting cinema buff has to have seen at least once. The film opens with negotiations between Count Dracula and an African Prince regarding the slave trade. Dracula turns out to be a racist douche who, instead of helping in any way, insults the African Prince Mamuwalde and curses him in his image. Locked in a coffin while his wife is enslaved, Blacula is imprisoned in his casket until it's purchased and delivered to L.A. in 1972. After breaking free and biting the two idiots that opened his coffin, he happens upon a beautiful girl at the funeral named Tina who seems to be his wife reincarnated. A suspicious doctor offers to assist in the case after inspecting one of the bodies and finding it completely drained of blood. Blacula goes around biting some other people and turning them into vampires while trying to win his ex-wife back. Thinking they know where his coffin is, they converge on him at an old warehouse which has become a vampire nest. Unfortunately for these guys, Blacula moved his coffin and they now must work to find out where. Needless to say, he eventually lures Tina out but she's killed when the police try to stop Blacula. In a desperate attempt to save the love of his life, he bites her neck and turns her into a vampire. While resting in a coffin, she takes a stake through the heart and is killed before Blacula has a chance to stop it from happening. Unable to deal with the loss of his wife for the third time... he climbs up to the roof, only to be destroyed by the sun.

I know, I gave away the ending. OH NO!!!! Well, if you couldn't see that one coming... then you're a fool. What I liked best about this movie was the way it ended. From the beginning of the movie, Blacula never wanted to be a vampire and kill people. All he really wanted was just to be with his love. In fact, Blacula was the real victim in this movie since all he was trying to do was save his people when he was turned. Once the love of his life (or lives) is killed, he sees no point in going on... unlike that selfish prick Dracula. Blacula was a totally righteous vampire who had no intention of spreading his plague on the world. That's what I respect most about him. The first to nab Best Horror Film at the Saturn Awards, Blacula spawned a sequel and inspired a slew of blaxploitation/horror films to follow.

Nudity: None that I can remember.

Gore: Not much in the way of gore. This movie didn't seem like it had much of a budget to blow on special effects.

Awesome: Pretty. There were some good parts in this movie although I would say that it was pretty mediocre overall. The vampires don't explode or melt in anyway when sunlight hits them, they just kinda collapse to the floor after a lackluster convulsion session. In one scene though, they used oil lamps as Molotov cocktails to set vampires ablaze while raiding the nest for Blacula's coffin. (Pretty bad ass right there!) Though my favorite overall scene has to be the thawing and subsequent slow motion charge that a cabbie-turned-vampire makes at a morgue worker, who was foolish enough to leave the door to the room unlocked.