Tuesday, October 23, 2012
31 Days of Halloween - Day 23 - Movie 1
The title suggests parody, or camp, but Blacula (1972) is handled as a pretty straight forward modern vampire story. Prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall) is turned into a vampire by Count Dracula and reawakens in modern Los Angeles after the contents of Dracula's castle are purchased by antiques dealers. Here, when he's not draining victims of their blood, he pursues Tina (Vonetta McGee) whom he believes is the reincarnation of his long dead wife.
Blacula is actually a very decent movie, with strong performances, particularly by Shakespearian trained, William Marshall and the other leads. The make-up on the vampires is pretty garish, but there's a very convincing hungry dead air about them. Mamuwalde/Blacula is presented as possessing great dignity, intelligence and longing and earns our empathy. The only real flaw is that Mamuwalde does not seem even remotely disoriented by modern society and manages to navigate it as if he were long accustomed to it.