Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Scream, Blacula Scream

For this Wednesday, How about some....






Here we have a Blaxplotation/Scare Seasonal film classic...

Blacula: Pimpn' coffins and blood-drinker game since 1973


Scream, Blacula, Scream

Info:

Director-- Bob Kelljan

Writers--- Joan Torres
Raymond Koenig


Starring--- William Marshall
Pam Grier
Don Mitchell
Richard Lawson

Year: 1973

Company: American International Pictures


The Basic Scoop, The Poop, The Lowdown:

In the "Jiving" inner city, there is a bit of a "tiff" between two Voodoo master apprentices after the Matriarch of their clan passes on without naming her heir. Willis (Lawson) the wannabe Pimp/Voodoo Priest (gotta LOOOVE these blaxplotation plots!! ) gets the short end of the stick and vows revenge against Lisa. (Grier) For some odd reason, he believes that by acquiring the bones of the dead superfly Vampire Blacula (Marshall) and resurrecting the remains through his BLACK arts, that he'll get his revenge... (Muahahahahahahaha!! ) But things don't go as planned, do they? Hell nooo, Crackah, HELL NOO! Blacula calls his own shots, and thus goes on a blood-drinking rampage all through the hood. Now it's up to Lisa's perfectly Afro-coifed ex police detective boyfriend Justin (Mitchell) to track down Blacula and regulate up in this mutha before Blacula ensnares Lisa in a web of charm and bloodlust forever.

What's Pretty Good:

A lot more than one would expect actually. For those who've never seen a Blaxplotation film, but know the "rep" through pop-culture, you'd probably think that with a Vampire ridiculously called "Blacula" you'd get some dude who dons a white leather'n'feathered pimp hat at all times and speaks HEAVILY in "ebonicisms" ( "Getcho ass back, jive-mutha-suckah crackah!! I wanta suck yo blood, Chickenhead!!" :D ) But you thought WRONG! Marshall's style as a "trained" actor adds panache' and credence to a flick that would otherwise be complete B-movie shlock. Marshall has a commanding deep smooth well-trained voice (the dude did SHAKESPEARE for crissakes ) the kind of cadence that just isn't wildly cultivated among ANYBODY in films nowadays, least of all among the rappers-turned-actors-who-don't-DESERVE-to-be-actors in black cinema. You pretty much only got James Earl Jones or Keith David if you want to hear a black performer's voice that is THAT cool, clear, and pleasant to listen to.

Of course if it's a QUALITY (ha-ha ) Blaxplotation flick, you just got to have Pam Grier in it, and watching this film you'll get what the fuss is all about with her.

Oh and believe it or not, despite the 70's jive-funky setting, there is still a little of the "flavor" of the Bram Stoker classic by which this is LOOSELY based.

A kind of "Hammer film meets Shaft" vibe.


Blacua: A BRUTHA IN A COFFIN?? What?? Dats RACIST!!


What Kinda Sorta Really, Really Sucks:

It's a Blaxplotation film on an obviously VERY low budget. The hairstyles and clothes of the era are laughable (Look for the white dude/chick? at Justin's African art exhibition/house party on the staircase with the biggest "Tree Head" afro ever made! ;) )

The dialogue is simple and not too deep. The music is mostly cheesy, and the ending seems cut off, unresolved, and unfulfilling.

And probably no surprise to anyone, the "Scare/Gore" factor in this flick is 0.






Overall Film Grade: C +

As I've said throughout this dealybobber, This is a Blaxplotation film (and a sequel) so there are certain things that just go with that territory. If you're into that cult-genre and you want something "jiveish" along those lines to watch with your buds at your party, this flick will do fine, both for coolness and laughs. Just don't expect too much more than that!

---Chet




a cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in generala cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in generala cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in general

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