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Blacula (1972)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 11

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Counted: 3
Fresh: 1
Rotten: 2

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 5,646

Trailer


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Movie Info

An 18th-century African prince (William Marshall) is transmogrified into a vampire while visiting Transylvania. Two centuries later, he rises from his coffin to wreak havoc in the Watts district of Los Angeles. Blacula's particular target is Vonette McGee, whom he thinks is the reincarnation of his long-ago lady love.

Rating:
PG (violence)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Horror , Classics
Directed By:
Written By:
Raymond Koenig , Joan Torres
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Jan 20, 2004
Runtime:
HBO Video


Cast


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Critic Reviews for Blacula

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (11) | DVD (4)

William Marshall portrays title role with a flourish and gets first rate support right down the line.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

The film remains a lifeless reworking of heroes versus vampires with soul music and a couple of good gags.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Anybody who goes to a vampire movie expecting sense is in serious trouble, and Blacula offers less sense than most.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

William Marshall brings considerable nobility to the lead role - no mean feat when you've got patches of hair glued all over your face and keep turning into a giant bat.

Full Review… | December 20, 2010
SFX Magazine

It's redeemed somewhat by a cool soul soundtrack and a lead performance by the classically-trained Marshall, who displays a reverence for his iconic role that the filmmakers could have heeded.

Full Review… | August 9, 2010
sbs.com.au

Vibrant funking-up of Hammer bloodsuckers

Full Review… | January 1, 2010
CinePassion

Blaxploitation meets vampire movie that's formulaic and full of holes.

Full Review… | October 19, 2009
Empire Magazine

The hammy performance by Marshall makes it enjoyable.

Full Review… | October 19, 2009
TV Guide's Movie Guide

best of the horror blaxploitation genre

May 19, 2008

A terrible blaxploitation angle on the classic Dracula story

August 9, 2007
Film Threat

An unburied treasures for those of us who love bad film. It's a horror film thematically, and politically and aesthetically, too.

Full Review… | June 12, 2005
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Contrived and a pain in the neck, yes...but what a concept!

January 2, 2005
Kansas City Kansan

[T]his classic example of blaxploitation does invoke the C-word, but not before 'camp-eee!' actually crossed your mind, which is while you're putting the DVD in the player.

Full Review… | November 2, 2004
Flick Filosopher

Has some genuinely scary moments.

December 17, 2003
Lawrence Journal-World

A surprisingly worthy addition to the blood-sucking genre.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003
Film4

Audience Reviews for Blacula

A combination vampire movie and blaxploitation movie, which you wouldn't think would be good, but it's actually a very fun movie, and it's one of my favourite vampire movies of the 70s.

More
ajv2688
AJ Verser

Super Reviewer

½

While this movie is pretty cheesy and ridiculous (as if the title couldn't make that obvious enough), it's a lot better than it might seem. It came out during the blaxploitation era, and is considered to be a blaxploitation horror film, but much of the campy and stereotypical elements that are typical of those films aren't really found here.

They are there a little bit, but the most sterotypical campy thing here are the gay interior decorators. This isn't a "jive vampire" like one might expect. Instead ,things are mostly played straight. Instead of being "Dracula's soul brother" this is a serious take on the vampire legend, trying to mix the gothic elements of Hammer horror films with contemporary (1970s) African American culture.

Despite some bad writing and some iffy acting, this is a fairly successful film. I am biased, and yeah, this film is heavily flawed, but it's pretty damn entertaining. It also tries for a bit of subtext, which is always appreciated. This could have been a lot better, but it's far better than the later attempt at a black vampire that was the woeful "Vampire in Brooklyn".

Give this one a shot: there's a good mix of fun, romance, and horror, and some surprisingly well done sequences. Don't expect it to be a masterpiece, but don't let preconceived notions prevent you from seeing this, either.

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cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

This is a very cool movie and deserves its cult following. This lively and amusing hybrid of blaxploitation and low-budget horror in which African Prince Mamuwalde ( William Marshall) goes to visit Count Dracula (Charles Macaulay), seeking his support in ending the slave trade. ( I wasn't aware Dracula was involved in the slave trade?)However, the twisted Count decides to curse Mamuwalde with the trait of vampirism.

A few centuries later, Mamuwalde rises from his coffin in contemporary Los Angeles, becoming fixated with Lisa (Vonetta McGee), the reincarnation of his long-ago bride, Tuva (also played by McGee). Tracking him is determined Dr. Gordon Thomas (an engaging Thalmus Rasulala), a Van Helsing variation who doesn't take long to realize that he is dealing with a strange situation.

Marshall, blessed with an effortless air of dignity and a deep, rich voice akin to that of James Earl Jones, is a good choice for the lead. McGee and Denise Nicholas are attractive co-stars who do more than just provide decoration. They are both very appealing. Canadian legend Gordon Pinsent is good in the role of Thomas's colleague. One welcome touch is the casting of legendary Hollywood character player Elisha Cook as a hook-handed coroner.

The film itself is fun, a spirited, urban African American spin on the traditional vampire story. It's not what I would consider scary at all, but it delivers a few good jolts, is paced well, and is generally hard not to like. The music is good, including some show-stopping on screen performances by The Hues Corporation.

"Blacula" is basically in a nutshell solid, infectious entertainment, and worth a look.

Followed by "Scream Blacula Scream" the following year.

More
cancercapricorn2002
David Ladd

Super Reviewer

Just another laughably unscary vampire film set halfway between Hammer and Starsky & Hutch.
If are into 70s nostalgia pieces, it may justify watching it but it's not going to enhance the life of a real horror fan.
The weird thing is that everybody plays this so seriously.

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drblood
Dr Blood  

Super Reviewer

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