U.S., 1972, 92 minutes, Digital, Dir. William Crain, Rated PG, Park Circus
“William Marshall portrays title role with a flourish and gets first rate support right down the line.” – Variety
“Blacula is beautiful, a totally entertaining movie that is not only a successful satire... but also provides a number of genuinely terrifying moments.” – Dick Lochte, Los Angeles Free Press
The Blaxploitation era in the 1970s was a mixed bag: opportunities for actors and creators to tell their stories, but often rife with stereotypes and broad storytelling. Young director William Crain got the opportunity to release Blacula in 1972. Instead of featuring a pimp, this film opens with in the 1700s with an African noble (William Marshall) trying to negotiate with Count Dracula to bring an end to the Transatlantic slave trade. When he gets “turned” instead, the first known Black vampire was born. Now this film is a time capsule hearkening back to an era when producers made films specifically geared toward Black neighborhoods and movie theaters–and Blacula’s images of empowerment and history help it rise above its Blaxploitation label. –Tananarive Due
This film screens as part of In Exhibition With: Tananarive Due
TANANARIVE DUE (tah-nah-nah-REEVE doo) is an award-winning author who teaches Black Horror and Afrofuturism at UCLA. She is an executive producer on Shudder's groundbreaking documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. She and her husband/collaborator Steven Barnes wrote "A Small Town" for Season 2 of Jordan Peele's "The Twilight Zone" (Paramount+) and two episodes of Shudder's Horror Noire anthology film. A leading voice in black speculative fiction for more than 20 years, Due has won an American Book Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a British Fantasy Award, and her writing has been included in best-of-the-year anthologies. Her books include Ghost Summer: Stories, My Soul to Keep, and The Good House. She and her late mother, civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due, co-authored Freedom in the Family: a Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights. She is married to author Steven Barnes, with whom she collaborates on screenplays. They live with their son, Jason, and two cats.
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