Blacula (1972)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Blaxploitation  |   Release Date - Aug 25, 1972 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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This crossbreed of horror and blaxploitation is better than its campy title might lead one to believe. The conceit of a vampire dubbed Blacula is a bit silly and the film suffers from the occasional bit of awkward humor (the bits with the two homosexual interior decorators are the most squirm-inducing), but Joan Torres and Raymond Koenig's script keeps things moving at a fast clip and generates some genuine chills. The scare factor is further enhanced by effective direction from William Crain; although he is periodically hampered by the film's low budget, he manages to craft some genuinely atmospheric and chilling moments. The standouts in this area include a confrontation between the police and Blacula's minions in their warehouse lair and the film's tragic yet poetic final moments. However, the film's key attribute is a stunning performance from William Marshall as the title character; he brings a magnetic presence to the role that makes it fascinating to watch, and his deeply felt portrayal gives the film an emotional weight it might have otherwise lacked. To sum up, Blacula is a solid horror programmer with plenty of appeal for both horror and blaxploitation fans.