Ganja & Hess (1973)



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Movie Info

What could have been a mere blaxploitation picture is elevated above the norm by two factors. The first is the performance of Duane Jones, cast as a professor of African studies who moonlights (literally as a vampire). The second is the mood-drenched, jazzy musical score, which very likely cost more than the film itself. But back to the plot: Jones continues to carry a torch for his ex-wife Marlene Clark-who, before the film is over, goes "bats" herself. Featured in the cast is writer/director Bill Gunn as the villain (no, the vampire isn't always the heavy) and the always welcome Mabel King.

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Duane Jones
as Dr. Hess Green
Marlene Clark
as Ganja Meda
Mabel King
as Queen of Myrthia
Bill Gunn
as George
Sam Waymon
as Rev. Williams
Candece Tarpley
as Girl in bar
Richard Harrow
as Dinner Guest
Enrico Fales
as Green's Son
Tara Fields
as Woman with Baby
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Critic Reviews for Ganja & Hess

All Critics (7)

Whether by accident or design, [Gunn's} creating a new kind of artistic expression out of imagery that had been used to titillate and exploit, a sort of pushback against the producers who wanted him to make a "black vampire movie."

Feb 13, 2019 | Full Review… experimental overlapping of dialogue, image, voiceover and music that makes you feel as if you're suffering from an awful fever dream.

Dec 19, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A forgotten masterpiece.

May 25, 2012 | Rating: A | Full Review…

(In Ganja and Hess) we get a devastating art film that raises more intriguing philosophical questions than hairs on the back of one's neck.

Oct 29, 2006 | Rating: 4/5

A meandering but stylish jumble.

Jun 22, 2006 | Full Review…

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