The film opens in 1780, as African Prince Mamuwalde (Marshall) and his lovely wife, Luva (Vonette McGee) are touring Europe in hopes of garnering support to end the slave trade. While visiting Count Dracula, the ever racist vampire, the Prince notices that the Count has his eye on his lovely Princess. As a struggle ensues between the two, Dracula brings down his curse, forever damning the Prince… “BLACULA”.
Fast forward to 70’s America, where the bell-bottoms and afros are large. Two interior decorators have scored a load of antiques from Castle Dracula’s castle, one in particular that has served as Blacula’s prison for almost 200 years. Bet you can guess what happens next? No, Pam Grier doesn’t show up to save the day (she actually appears in the sequel Scream, Blacula, Scream), but rather Blacula rising from the grave to wreak his vengeance. Very cheesy in a good way!!!!
As brothers begin to drop like flies, Dr. Thomas (Thalmus Rasulala) seems to think that something isn’t right in the ghetto. Blacula has seen the spitting images of his lost Princess Luva reincarnated as Tina (Vonette McGee) and he will do whatever it takes to seduce her, but Dr. Thomas and five-O aren’t going to let that happen. As the funk flies, Blacula is a smooth operator when he lays his undead groovy on the line. The ending offers a pretty ingenious twist.
It is blaxploitation, baby!!! Sure they gave us Shaft and Foxy Brown, but Blacula was one bad dude with a thirst for blood. William Marshall, a trained Shakespearean actor, provides us with an interpretation of Dracula (aka Blacula) that exhibited all the dignity, strength, and charm of Lee and Lugosi. This vampire is a little more human and less of a monster than his white counterpart. A classic film!!!! Make sure to check out the equally great sequel starring the goddess, Pam Grier.