In the decade of blaxploitation films, there was one movie that stood out for me, at least. One movie that actually scared me the first time I saw it in the spring of 1986. Blacula, is directed by William Crain and stars William Marshall as an18th-century African prince named Mamuwalde, who is turned into a vampire by Count Dracula in the Count's castle in Transylvania in the year 1780. Mamuwalde was imprisoned in a coffin after Dracula refused to help him suppress the slave trade. Two centuries later, in the year 1972, two interior decorators from modern day Los Angeles travelled to Castle Dracula and unknowingly purchased the now-undead Mamuwalde's coffin which they ship to Los Angeles. Later unlocking the coffin, the decorators release Mamuwalde, becoming his first two victims as a vampire. In his bloodthirsty reign of terror, he turns many other into vampires like himself.
Blacula received mixed reviews in the United States, but was one of the top grossing films in 1972. It was the first film to receive an award for Best Horror Film at the Saturn Awards. I believe there is a strong argument to be made as to why it should be rebooted.
Blacula Movie Poster.
This classic has a decent story at its core. "An African Prince is looking to stop his people from being taken as slaves, and turns to the Prince of Darkness himself" is a great idea that can be modernized into something truly worthy of its name. With the right script, Blacula can finally be given the horror movie workup for today's generation. There are also plenty of actors right now able to make this movie a blockbuster success. I've compiled a list of some seasoned professionals that can give us a definitive Blacula.
No one can argue that the 51 year old movie veteran lacks anything to play this role. He has gone dark before, and if I was a casting professional in Hollywood then he would be my first call!
MICHAEL JAMES SHAW
Known to fans of Constantine on NBC as Papa Midnite, this actor has all the elements for Blacula. You can see him now on CBS' Limitless as Agent Mike.
If you want to give the ladies something to lust for, well Taye Diggs is the man for you. We can talk for hours as to why Taye is great for this role. He is so well known that I believe he can take a reboot all the way to the top of the box office!
I know he's in the running for James Bond, and if he gets the role then it would be historic. All the qualities are there for Idris to make a great Blacula, there's no doubt about that.
CHARLES MICHAEL DAVIS
He may not be a huge Hollywood name, but he most certainly has a star's following. Already playing a vampire on the CW's The Originals, Charles Michael Davis is ready for the role of Mamuwalde right now. If there isn't a big budget to cast A-list Hollywood names for a reboot, well Charles can save the day. With him, you have a great shot of making a new Blacula successful.
There you have it friends, my choices to reboot the Blacula franchise for this generation. Will it happen? I doubt it since there isn't any indication anyone is even thinking about it. Blacula is a forgotten franchise locked away in the 1970s movie basement, like many other great films of its day. Yet, so many have been brought back, so why not Blacula? I say it should be done!
In the meantime, enjoy Scream Blacula Scream from 1973 starring Foxy Brown herself, Pam Grier for your Halloween festivities!