OOM #28 – Blacula (1972)

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Welcome to the October Overlook Madness, ladies and gentlemen. Today once again we explore the horror cinema that is contained in that rich and important year of 1972, and that’s because today the Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness talks about a movie I’ve seen many times, one of the best horror films of the new century, ‘The Descent’ (2005). So, while I leave you with the discussion on this movie here, I will go ahead and tackle this blacksploitation horror film for the first time in my life.

While this isn’t exactly my first horror blacksploitation film, as that one would be ‘Alabama’s Ghost’ (1973), I might say that this is actually the first horror blacksploitation film that is actually any good that I’ve seen. The movie starts off in Transylvania as it shows us the origins of our monster, Blacula, as the spawn of the bite of Dracula to an African prince that is trying to stop slavery in Europe, which obviously brings forward the social element that every good movie of this kind must have. Sadly the white Dracula is not entertained with the idea, and thus enslaves the prince into becoming a vampire that won’t be able to satisfy its lust or thirst, and also kills his wife by incarcerating her with him. Years later two gay stoner interior decorators somehow come up with enough money to buy the Dracula Castle, who everyone thinks is just a character of movies, and thus a legend. They are attacked and killed by Blacula, who uses this instance to travel to the United States, where much like in ‘The Mummy’ (1932) he finds a woman that is identical to his wife all those years ago, and tries hard to seduce her and convince her to join him in his eternity.

The rest of the film, luckily, saves it from any boredom by playing against rule: the detective instantly believes in vampires and can convince anyone of it, the woman falls for Blacula pretty early but it’s not transformed right away, Blacula hangs out with people in the night club, characters are killed off when they are most used, and all of that with the topping of striking imagery of Blacula hitting and killing a bunch of white policemen, and I think that the cathartic image is right there, in that subversive imagery and at the same time confounding almost videogame sort of plot with stages in which our vampire advances and finds himself fulfilled pretty early on, only to have the justice appear in front of him and rob him of his happiness. That makes it a good yet still not entirely satisfying watch that stays mostly in the novelty level that elevates it beyond the common vampire film dreck from the era.

7/10

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