is a 1972 horror film, produced by American International Pictures
, featuring the blaxploitation
version of the Dracula
character. It stars William Marshall (who some may recognize as The King of Cartoons from the later Saturday-morning television series Pee-Wee's Playhouse
) in the title role. The movie was successful enough to spawn a sequel a year later, Scream Blacula Scream
, which starred both Marshall and Pam Grier
, and also inspired a number of imitators
, including Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde
(which like Blacula
itself was directed by William Crain). Blacula was also prominently featured in the film Bloodsuckers Anonymous
as one of the main protagonists.
The plot: In 1780, African Prince Manuwalde and his lovely wife Tuva visit Transylvanian Count Dracula, to dine and discuss a proposition put forth by Manuwalde: end the slave trade out of Africa. Dracula finds this ridiculous, given the "merit" he feels is inherent in slavery. He then makes a pass at Tuva. This leads into a fight between Manuwalde and Dracula's mooks
, and both are captured. Dracula turns Manuwalde into a vampire, names him "Blacula", and seals him in a coffin, leaving poor Tuva to die helplessly beside the coffin in a chamber in the dungeon below the castle.
192 years later, a pair of gay American interior decorators purchase several antiques from the now-long-abandoned castle and have them transported to Los Angeles
(including the coffin, which—unbeknownst to them—still contains Blacula). Sorting through the items in a warehouse, they find the coffin and decide to open it—only to end up attacked and killed by the freshly-released and seriously hungry vampire. Blacula roams the city's streets at night, a handsome and debonair black gentleman who happens to suddenly grow a pair of wild sideburns when his hunger rises, and the body count increases around the neighborhood. This draws Dr. Gordon Thomas, a forensics expert with the LAPD, to the case. Meanwhile, Blacula has discovered a young woman, Tina, who looks exactly like his long-deceased wife.
This film provides examples of: