Blacula (William Crain, 1972)
[originally posted 16Apr2001]
How many wonderfully bad films did Sam Arkoff give the public? (According to IMDB, a hundred thirty-nine.) This one was right smack dab in the middle, the first big-screen feature for a rising star named William Crain, who went on to be a big name in TV episode directing (The Dukes of Hazzard, Starsky and Hutch, et al.). How wrong can you go with a film whose trailer exclaimed “he’s Dracula’s soul brother!”?
Not too far, as it turns out. This is a wild and wonderful piece of pure camp. An African prince, Mawatunde (William Marshall) and his wife Luva (Vonetta McGee) are sent to Europe in 1780 to protest the slave trade, and they appeal to a certain count in transylvania. Mawatunde gets offended when Dracula lusts after his wife publicly and… well, you can guess the rest of that part. Mawatunde is awakened almost two hundred years later after he’s been transported to LA by a couple of ultra-hep antiques dealers, where—surprise of surprises—he comes across the reincarnation of his wife!
Priceless stuff. You can’t make comedy this funny. *** ½