Tuesday, October 4, 2011

2011 October Horror Movie Challenge Movie 13: Blacula

Blacula is a blaxploitation movie from the 70s that probably deserves a better reputation than it has. Because it had a tiny budget, because it's inherently racist like all blaxploitation movies (homophobic, too...at one point a character asks "Who would want a dead faggot?" Good question, really) and because such movies just never get any respect, it's not credited with being good. The thing is, "Blacula" is a pretty good vampire movie, all things considered. It's disturbing. The racism is part of what makes it so, and the movie knows that...in the prologue in the beginning, Blacula is an African prince who travels to Transylvania to seek the help of Count Dracula in ending the slave trade, but Dracula isn't fond of the proposition and attacks the prince and his wife, turning the prince into a vampire as an eternal punishment for daring to visit him...talk about racially motivated killing.

Blacula is a sad movie, too. Blacula is a tragic figure. He lost the love of his life and was cursed with an eternal punishment for trying to end the slavery of his people, and then when he's awakened in the 1970s, he falls in love again, only to have his plans thwarted because the woman he loves is human. It's a sad story, and when the movie isn't too busy getting in its own damn way by presenting characters who are mere caricatures and using dialogue that is supposed to be "hip" but was probably dated and insulting even back when the movie came out, the movie manages to shine in spite of its flaws. Some of the vampire stalking/chase scenes were even scary. For my money, "Blacula" is well worth a watch.

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