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USA 1972
produced by
Samuel Z. Arkoff, Joseph T. Naar, for AIP
directed by William Crain
starring William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Thalmus Rasulala, George Pinsent, Charles Macaulay, Emily Yancy, Lance Taylor sr, Ted Harris, Rick Metzler, Logan Field, Ketty Lester, Elisha Cook jr

Blacula, Dracula

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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In 1780, African prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall) comes to Transylvania to obtain help in his war against the enslavement of his people from Count Dracula (Charles Macaulay), ignorant to the fact that this man is a vampire. Soon he finds out though, & is turned into a vampire, dubbed Blacula by the count, himself, & furthermore walled up in a coffin to spend eternity in this prison.

In 1972 though, with Dracula long dead, his castle is bought by an American gay couple, Bobby & Billy (Ted Harris, Rick Metzler), who soon ship all the stuff they find in the castle to New York - including Blacula's coffin. In a rundown warehouse, Blacula awakes - rather hungry after almost 200 years without a bite (or is that sip ?) - & sucks dry his 2 homosexual saviours.

At the wake of one of them, Bobby, though, he sees beautuiful Tina (Vonetta McGee) - the splitting image of his long lost love Luva - & immediately falls in love with her. Her brother-in-law Gordon though is the cop/coroner working on the case of the dead homosexual couple, & he soon feels, there might be something supernatural involved. At the birthday party of his wife Michelle (Denise Nicholas) at a funky nightclub, he & Tina meet Blacula - dressed in the obligatory cape - for the first time, & he seems remarkably at ease with all the changes that have been going on in the world the last 200 years, as he enters the nightclub as if he owned the place, proves to have perfect conversational skills & orders "Champagne ... French !" The fun in the club is only disrupted when photographer Nancy (Emely Yancy) takes a picture of him, & he has to leave the club to go after her to destroy the evidence - he can't be photographed you see - & kill the girl in the process - how on earth the man from 1780 knows the first thing about photography again goes unexplained.

Gordon meanwhile is confronted with more & more sucked dry bodies turning up, but also disappearing again before he has the change to make a thogough post mortem, so he can't but suspect the involvement of vampires, & there's only one way to prove his theory: he has to dig up Billy - the only victim that actually did have a funeral before he could start a second career as a vampire - to see what became of him ... & really, no sooner is his coffin opened does Billy attack Gordon, but he is staked just in time.

& while Blacula starts a serious - & consensuous - relationship with Tina, who has no problems believing him that he is a vampire simply because he says so, & soesn't mind very much either, Gordon finds more & more clues in his case of vampire murders that lead to Blacula being the head vampire. & soon Gordon devices a plan to lure Blacula into a trap - but the plan involves Tina as bait - & she agrees only reluctantly.

It all culminates in a battle cops versus vampires, with the cops winning in the end, but Blacula & Tina manage to escape.
While making their getaway though, Tina is fatally wounded, & so Blacula has to turn her into a vampire in order to save her ... But for some reason, then she immediately lies down in a coffin & Gordon walks by & stabs her. Upon seeing that, Blacula is overcome by grief & commits suicide by walking into the sunlight.

The always dependable Elisha Cook jr has a role as morgue attendant


A cool black vampire in cape, an old-fashioned horror pic played to a funky soundtrack & the title Blacula itself are all ingredients for an instant camp classic, especially when played straight, & some corny vampire-attacks only add to that effect. Unfortunately apart from that the movie is steeped in clichés & the rather thin plot is dragged out unnecessarily in the least fitting scenes. This all makes the movie a rather ambiguous affair - one scene makes you shout with joy, only for the next one to make you cringe in pain.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD