Photo by Wallpaper Vista
William Marshall as Blacula

While most people will gather together to hang out with the witches, ghosts, goblins and ghouls. Make sure you remember the movies that helped paved the way for blacks to showcase their talents in horror.

Black exploitation

Do you remembered as a child how exciting it was that black people could be vampires as well. I certainly will never forget when my late cousin took all the kids under 10 to the Fox Theater, of course against my mom’s wishes.

The movie, one of them that we had gone to see was Blacula. We will touch bases on another classic ‘Abby’ at another date.

Blacula was horrifying, but not as terrifying as ‘The Exorcist’, which was showing the same year. Nonetheless, it should have been up there in the top 25 for all time horror flicks.

Blacula, was produced in 1972, is a Blaxploitation horror film directed by William Crain. It starred the imposing late great William Marshall, who was also an opera singer.

The plot

Marshall played a vampire who wakes up in modern day California. The shining lights of night clubs and beautiful women were all over him. He then happens upon the lovely Vonetta McCee, a woman whom he thinks is his late wife.

His obsession gets the best of him as she noticed his strange behavior with her sister Denise Nicholas’ character. There are bites flying everywhere as he searches for blood. You have a cab driver’s corpse flying down the coroner’s corridor trying to attack the authority. And so much gory fun to keep you glued in.

The man with a plan

The director William Crain was black and the first black director to have success from a major film school. And interestingly, Marshall was the first black actor to play Dracula.

There was a sequel to Blacula, which was titled ‘Scream Blacula Scream’, directed by Bob Kelljan. I think about the time it was made a year later, people have seen enough of a black vampire.

So history was already in the making for this film. Blacula: a film which starred some great actors like, Thalmus Rasulala, Vonetta McGee and the lovely Denise Nicholas.

It was a top grossing movie during its time. And culture wise, Blacula is still scaring the mess out of our new generation.

Back in the 70’s movies were made so provocatively and with excellent cinema. There is hope that maybe we will have more coming in the 21st century.

Horror beginnings

When Dracula comes to mind, you immediately think about the creator Bram Stoker. Dracula is way before any of our time, because the novel was written in 1897.

It is a narrative tale about a visitor to a Transylvanian castle owned by the legendary Count Dracula. I have never read the story, but have seen so many movies and stories about the character.

So of course during the Halloween season the best costume and monster is always Count Dracula. Have fun and always be safe and practice social distancing and wear your mask, no puns.


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