Blacula

The film opens in 1780, as African Prince Mamuwalde (Marshall) and his lovely wife, Luva (Vonette McGee) are touring Europe in hopes of garnering support to end the slave trade. While visiting Count Dracula, the ever racist vampire, the Prince notices that the Count has his eye on his lovely Princess.  As a struggle ensues between the two, Dracula brings down his curse, forever damning the Prince.... "BLACULA".

Fast forward to 70's America, where the bell-bottoms and afros are large. Two interior decorator have score a load of antiques from Castle Dracula's castle, one in particular that has served as Blacula's prison for almost 200 year. Bet you can guess what happens next? No, Pam Grier doesn't show up to save the day (she actually appears in the sequel Scream, Blacula, Scream), but rather Blacula rising from the grave to wreak his vengeance. Very cheesy in a good way!!!!

As brothers begin to drop like flies, Dr. Thomas (Thalmus Rasulala) seems to think that something isn't right in the ghetto.  Blacula has seen the spitting images of his lost Princess Luva reincarnated as Tina (Vonette McGee) and  he will do whatever it takes to seduce her, but Dr. Thomas and five-O aren't going to let that happen.  As the funk flies, Blacula is a smooth operator when he lays his undead groovy on the line. The ending offers a pretty ingenious twist.

Blacula

 
Checkout Dr. Van Helsing's Diary

1972

It is blaxploiton, baby!!! Sure they gave us Shaft and Foxy Brown, but Blacula  was one bad dude with a thirst for blood. William Marshall, a trained Shakespearean actor, provides us with an interpretation of Dracula (aka Blacula) that exhibited all the dignity, strength, and charm of Lee and Lugosi.  This vampire  is a little more human and less of a monster than his white counterpart. A classic film!!!! Make sure to check out the equally great sequel starring the goddess, Pam Grier.

 

Blood for Dracula 

A stylish, twisted, and classic telling of the tragedy life (and death) of Count Dracula. Set in modern times, the story begins as we find the Count (Udo Kier) on his death bed. He knows that the only thing that  can help re-vitalize his dying soul is the blood of a pure "were-gin'' (virgin), but now due to his fame, his assistant Anton (Arno Juerging) suggest they head to Italy where the "were-gins'' are plentiful. You know that whole little innocent catholic girl thing, little does he know that times have changed.

Upon arriving in Italy, Anton is able to secure the Count lodging with a family that has four beautiful  daughters ready for marriage. But are they "were-gins"? That is up to the Count to find out as he searches for his salvation. Yet that green tint on his faces isn't from envy, but from the sickness brought on by the soiled blood of the less than pure. It seems Mario (Joe Dallesandro), the gardener, has already begun to foil the Count's plans by defrocking a few of the daughters of their lasting innocent. As "were-gins" fall by the waste side, the races begins for the Count as Mario is determined to permanently dismember his love life one way or another.

Blood for Dracula

 
Checkout Dr. Van Helsing's Diary

1974

Although this film is also known as "Andy Warhol's Dracula", Warhol had little to do in making this film other than lending his name to it. Blood for Dracula was beautifully directed by Paul Morrissey, who earlier that same year (1974) directed Flesh for Frankenstein.  This films offer some great social commentary as it examines the digression of morality. A definite must see for all horror fans.

 

George A. Romero's Martin

The story begins after a little bloodletting, when  Martin's (John Amplas) arrives at his Uncle Cuda's (Lincoln Maazel) home . It seems that young Martin thinks he is a 84 year old vampire.  "Nosferatu", his good Uncle warns "first I will save your soul and than I will destroy you". Housewarming at its' best... wouldn't you say??  But Martin isn't your traditional vampire. His eyes are a little sensitive to sunlight and the "magic stuff" (crosses, garlic, holy water, etc) has no effect on him. Yeah and I almost forgot the most important difference, he doesn't have any fangs, but rather uses a razor blade in his quest for blood.

Fascinated by his new environment, Martin goes as  far as to share his experiences with a local disc jockey who dubs him the "Count".  As he tries to curb his thirst for blood, Martin meets a married women who introduces him to the finer side of human existence (sex). These new feelings help to bring a sense of normality to his abnormal existence, but his cravings still burn deep. He must kill again, because he is "nosferatu" and  nothing can change that, not even love. With the untimely suicide of his lover, Martin senses that his end is near.

Martin

 
Checkout Dr. Van Helsing's Diary

1977

George A. Romero's masterpiece that truly succeeds in bringing the vampire mythology into 20th century. As with most of Romero's film, Martin echoes deep  to a sense of social commentary.  It downplays the role and effectiveness of the  church in everyday life.  It follows the struggles of a misguided youth whose  one chance at salvation is quickly whisked away by the very razor blades he uses to feed his hunger.  Finally, the end comes at the hands of the superstitious.  Romero did a wonderful job of  intermixing some cool black and white sequences that harking back to Martin's history as a vampire. A low budget films that packs more punch than most blockbuster and definitely one of Romero's most underrated achievements. This film also marked the first time Tom Savini (Arthur) worked with George. 

 

 

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