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"Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Old 09-26-12, 12:17 AM
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"Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1






Blacula (1972)



Selected by clckworang



IMDB ENTRY

These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

MAIN THREAD | LIST THREAD

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags are unnecessary in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.

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Old 09-30-12, 12:18 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

So does this "go live" at dusk today (already happening in some parts of the globe), or at midnight?

And another question: Does anyone remember where I put my DVD of this and the sequel?
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Old 10-01-12, 03:32 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Anyone know if there's a site streaming this one? I see Scream, Blacula, Scream! is on Netflix but haven't seen this listed anywhere.
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Old 10-01-12, 06:37 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by indiephantom View Post
Anyone know if there's a site streaming this one? I see Scream, Blacula, Scream! is on Netflix but haven't seen this listed anywhere.
You can rent it on Amazon.com instant viewer for $2.99, but these have been had to cheap like when Walmart had Trevor's double feature set for $5 a year or two ago.

It is available on Youtube... in Italian... yeah... which makes me wonder if anyone can just upload to YouTube or if they block copyright material; why Italian?
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Old 10-01-12, 10:12 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

I saw the Youtube Italian version. I don't speak Italian but I do speak Spanish and French which share many similarities with Italian so I was able to understand most of it.
I had never seen Blacula and found it quite better than expected. The plot is no worse than many Hammer films of the time and benefits greatly from the suave performance of William Marshall and the lovely Vonetta McGee. Could this have been one of the first movies that presents the vampire as a truly sympathetic character?
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Old 10-02-12, 12:03 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1


Let's just get this right out in the open--I love Blacula. I always have, and I always will, and I'll admit it to anyone. I think that it's one of the five or so best vampire films ever made. Is it dated? Sure it is, but so are all of the Universal classics. Is it cheap? Yup...but so was Carnival of Souls, and nobody seems to complain too much about that one. So what do I like about it? It's a combination of things--William Marshall's nuanced performance, the urban setting, the awful fashions (excepting Blacula's grey-lined cape which is totally kick-ass), the music (and what an incredibly groovy theme song!), all of the women (most are quite beautiful, and the only one who really isn't--the character of Juanita Jones as played by Ketty Lester--is memorable for other reasons), Charles Macauley's performance as Dracula, the rather ghoulish-looking supporting vampires.... I really could go on and on. There is nothing about this film that I don't like. It, along with Coffy, was instrumental in really kicking the blaxploitation genre into high gear. And what a great ending!!
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Old 10-02-12, 01:42 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Blacula is a fun throwback to early-70s funky fashion, but nobody told William Marshall that he was starring in a piece of blaxploitation schlock. He gives Prince Mamuwalde a dimension of pathos and feeling that puts his performance on a different level from the rest of the film.
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Old 10-02-12, 01:50 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post

Let's just get this right out in the open--I love Blacula. I always have, and I always will, and I'll admit it to anyone. I think that it's one of the five or so best vampire films ever made. Is it dated? Sure it is, but so are all of the Universal classics. Is it cheap? Yup...but so was Carnival of Souls, and nobody seems to complain too much about that one. So what do I like about it? It's a combination of things--William Marshall's nuanced performance, the urban setting, the awful fashions (excepting Blacula's grey-lined cape which is totally kick-ass), the music (and what an incredibly groovy theme song!), all of the women (most are quite beautiful, and the only one who really isn't--the character of Juanita Jones as played by Ketty Lester--is memorable for other reasons), Charles Macauley's performance as Dracula, the rather ghoulish-looking supporting vampires.... I really could go on and on. There is nothing about this film that I don't like. It, along with Coffy, was instrumental in really kicking the blaxploitation genre into high gear. And what a great ending!!
Still one of the most frightening vampire-attacks ever seen in movies.

Strongly agree with the rest of this post too
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Old 10-02-12, 04:28 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Gobear View Post
Blacula is a fun throwback to early-70s funky fashion, but nobody told William Marshall that he was starring in a piece of blaxploitation schlock. He gives Prince Mamuwalde a dimension of pathos and feeling that puts his performance on a different level from the rest of the film.
I agree with this it will never be a favorite but I appreciate it for what it is.
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Old 10-02-12, 11:20 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Mondo Kane View Post
Still one of the most frightening vampire-attacks ever seen in movies.
Undoubtedly. I love that whole sequence of the film: the music fits so perfectly with the dissolves of Juanita slowly...thawing. It's an admirably creepy scene.
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Old 10-02-12, 11:24 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

I watched the Italian version of this on Youtube and I had a tough time following the dialogue, I'm disappointed there wasn't a streaming version of this in English available. I did enjoy the music and the opening credits, seemed like a fun movie. I'll try to track it down and post some more thoughts here soon.
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Old 10-02-12, 11:33 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Great flick despite the blaxploitation gimmick. I can still remember the first time seeing this on late night TV when I was younger. I was surprised that it was actually creepy. And Denise Nicholas is one beautiful looking lady!
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Old 10-02-12, 02:34 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

All right, this was my pick, so I suppose I should explain it. I watched it for the first time very deep into the 2010 challenge. I remembered enjoying the film, but I couldn't really remember much about the actual film. That can often be an issue deep in the challenge. While going through my guide to look for horror movies to record, I noticed this one coming up on MGM-HD and decided I wanted to give it another viewing when I was more fresh. Then when I saw the urban theme, I thought it would be a great match and that everyone should be forced to give it another viewing.

Really, most people have basically summed up my feelings on the movie. To keep it short and sweet, the movie is just a fun ride. Sometimes the humor feels pretty dated, but the music is great, and some of the performances, like that of Marshall, are far better than they probably have any right to be. Like many of the best exploitation films, there's just this energy in the filmmaking. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the city as well.

Now I think I need to see the sequel this month since it's streaming on Netflix.

Originally Posted by Gobear View Post
Blacula is a fun throwback to early-70s funky fashion, but nobody told William Marshall that he was starring in a piece of blaxploitation schlock. He gives Prince Mamuwalde a dimension of pathos and feeling that puts his performance on a different level from the rest of the film.
Originally Posted by Mondo Kane View Post
Still one of the most frightening vampire-attacks ever seen in movies.
Totally agree.
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Old 10-02-12, 03:08 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Agree with pretty much all the thoughts posted so far. I enjoyed this much more than I expected.

Anyone else taken aback by the multiple uses of the N and F words? I guess they were more accepted back in the 70s, but I'm just very used to not hearing them.

Watched the sequel and wasn't as impressed. It wasn't horrible, but just didn't seem to add much to the story. But then, I was pretty tired when I watched it this morning.
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Old 10-02-12, 03:54 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Watched the sequel and wasn't as impressed. It wasn't horrible, but just didn't seem to add much to the story.
I'm not terribly fond of the sequel, either. It felt a little like a bait-and-switch tactic--you pay to see a vampire film, and you get a whole lot of voodoo instead. Plus, with Blacula giving himself over fully to the dark side of his nature, the pathos of the first film was completely lost...and that was a huge part of what made the original special.

Looking over their 1970s output, AIP seems to have had a knack for making mediocre sequels.
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Old 10-02-12, 07:31 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

I'm trying to do all first-time views whenever possible but this was an excellent movie for a rewatch. I first saw this back on the Monsters HD channel on Voom and at that time I was too excited to finally get to see it to properly enjoy it. As everyone has said, William Marshall is just tremendous in this movie. I love the time period of the movie and the blaxpoitation element also. The makeup effects for the other vampires were very so-so to me, but I really enjoyed the overall movie and found new things to focus on as a second time view. Great choice as far as I am concerned.
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Old 10-03-12, 09:22 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

First time view, and basically agree with the thoughts here. It was a fun ride, that mixed blacksploitation and vampirsm perfectly.
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Old 10-03-12, 08:50 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Agree with pretty much all the thoughts posted so far. I enjoyed this much more than I expected.

Anyone else taken aback by the multiple uses of the N and F words? I guess they were more accepted back in the 70s, but I'm just very used to not hearing them.
That's because you weren't a teenager in the 70s listening to Richard Pryor albums. The times were a lot more open than they are today.



Watched the sequel and wasn't as impressed. It wasn't horrible, but just didn't seem to add much to the story. But then, I was pretty tired when I watched it this morning.
It has the foxy Miss Pam Grier, so it works for me, although admittedly it is inferior to the original.
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Old 10-04-12, 03:46 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Since the original wasn't available from Netflix, I streamed the sequel Scream, Blacula, Scream! I have seen pictures of the original over the years but really have no knowledge of it whatsoever. I figured I would hate this movie but was pleased to find it was pretty enjoyable though it had it's share of dull spots. The fashions were groovy and the 70's slang was heavy, man! Disappointed in the no nudity and rather mild violence/gore as i was figuring this would have at least a decent amount of both.

Still, a fun way to relive the 70's for an hour and a half. Movies have taught me that the 70's was a very bizarre time to live in. I was born in '73 and thus an 80's child.

My rating: **1/2 out of *****
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Old 10-05-12, 01:29 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by brianluvdvd View Post
Disappointed in the no nudity and rather mild violence/gore as i was figuring this would have at least a decent amount of both.
Kinda hard to believe, but the best "Monster" blaxploitation films were PG (Blacula & Sugar Hill)

If you're still on the hunt for an R-rated blaxpo horror, give J.D.'s Revenge a shot (It's a possession flick)
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Old 10-05-12, 09:44 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Mondo Kane View Post
Kinda hard to believe, but the best "Monster" blaxploitation films were PG (Blacula & Sugar Hill)

If you're still on the hunt for an R-rated blaxpo horror, give J.D.'s Revenge a shot (It's a possession flick)
I have heard of Sugar Hill but have never watched it. Never heard of J.D.'s Revenge but I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the suggestions!

I watched Dolemite the other day and that movie is crazy and hilarious at the same time. Not horror but definitely blaxploitation.
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Old 10-05-12, 10:34 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

One thing that really stood out for me was Elisha Cook. I've always loved seeing this actor, but am having a brain fart on where I most remember him from. His filmography is vast and quite varied, but I can almost picture him in something where his voice is low and almost hypnotic, but I'm drawing a blank on where it was.
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Old 10-05-12, 11:43 AM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Sugar Hill is definitely worth a watch, too.
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Old 10-05-12, 12:48 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
One thing that really stood out for me was Elisha Cook. I've always loved seeing this actor, but am having a brain fart on where I most remember him from. His filmography is vast and quite varied, but I can almost picture him in something where his voice is low and almost hypnotic, but I'm drawing a blank on where it was.
Could it be the beginning of House on Haunted Hill, by any chance? The Willliam Castle version, natch.
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Old 10-05-12, 01:10 PM
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Re: "Blacula" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
One thing that really stood out for me was Elisha Cook. I've always loved seeing this actor, but am having a brain fart on where I most remember him from. His filmography is vast and quite varied, but I can almost picture him in something where his voice is low and almost hypnotic, but I'm drawing a blank on where it was.
You might be thinking of the scene where he confronts his unfaithful wife (Marie Windsor) in Kubrick's THE KILLING. The scenes with him and Windsor are arguably the best-acted scenes in a film full of great acting.

Back to BLACULA: I saw it when it opened at the Criterion Theater on Broadway in Times Square (the same theater where LAWRENCE OF ARABIA had played for a year a decade earlier and FUNNY GIRL had played for a year four years earlier). I remember a guy in the audience freaking out when the heroes set fire to a bunch of attacking vampires. He blurted out, "You burn witches, not vampires!"

I saw the sequel the following year but don't remember liking it much.

I haven't seen BLACULA in a long time, but I did watch another William Marshall movie over the weekend: DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS (1954), in which he plays a gladiator who earns his freedom and becomes a Christian. It's a good part and he's quite strong in it.
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