Standing alongside Blackenstein and Dr Black, Mr Hyde, Blacula’s title seems almost politically correct in a film that goes out of its way to turn its central character into something more sympathetic than a simple villain, and also something less interesting. With his slave era background and an ‘across the centuries’ love story that was later pilfered for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mamuwalde (nobody really calls him Blacula) has a strongly sympathetic backstory which might well make you root for him if he didn’t keep killing everyone (occasionally on roller skates). Because he’s neither one thing nor the other you can’t really feel sorry for him or hate him, making the film not so much ambiguous as a total mess (as well as being startlingly homophobic). On the other hand he is the only cinematic vampire to kill one of his victims by hurling a trash can at him.
Director: William Crain
Writers: Joan Torres, Raymond Koenig
Stars: William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas
Trivia: Two special showings of Blacula were held in New York at which anyone wearing a long, flowing cape was given free admission.
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