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Home | Film Reviews | Cult Films | Film Review: Blacula (1972)

Film Review: Blacula (1972)


An ancient African prince, turned into a vampire by Dracula himself, finds himself in modern Los Angeles.


Before we begin, I would like to point out that this movie is quite a bit before my time. Blacula was created in 1972, I didn’t come into this world until the mid to late 80s. This movie is older than I am! Keeping in mind too that this movie was around before any of the other big horror franchises and names, like Halloween, which first made its debut in 1978.

Still, even though I have tried to keep this in the back of my mind.. I have to say I was dreading watching this film, and rightfully so.

The name is as bad as it sounds. The basis of the movie is about an African Prince, Mamuwalde. He has an encounter with the one and only Dracula. Dracula made a meal out of Mamuwalde and kept him locked away for 200 years. It would seem Dracula really is a bad ass vampire as the stories have all told, this one leaves no exception.

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After his awakening and release from his captivity, Blacula goes in search of his wife who is known as Luva/Tina in the movie. On his quest though, as all vampires do, Blacula gets hungry. When Blacula gets hungry all common decency is out the window. He leaves a trail of blood and death behind him, but of course, he doesn’t care.. He is Blacula after all! After a bit of drama, a bit of action and what I found to be a bit of comedy, Blacula meets a rival and we have a bit more action. Blaculas lover/wife ends up caught in the cross fire with the police department and is shot down in the big kafuffle. Of course as always, Blacula bites her with only seconds of her life to spare. His intention is to turn her into a vampire and in turn save her life.. But not so fast Blacula!


Blacula goes on a killing rampage in typical vampire style until one by one the police force vanishes. As if that wasn’t a big enough task for him! While he has been on the hunt, he has also been hunted by 3 other characters. They happened to locate Blaculas coffin and open the lid. They swiftly drive a stake through the beast they think is dwelling in there, but not all is as it seems. It is not Blacula in the coffin, but someone else. I won’t give away who it is just in case someone else decides to actually watch this movie.

This movie is painfully terrible, cheesy would be the best word to explain it. The acting is terrible, the story line is terrible, the special effects are some of the worst I have seen, just a mess. I understand that this movie is now over 40 years old, and for its age it was probably considered a great of its time. May be I have seen too many of todays’ movies and this just looks tacky by comparison, I don’t know. I did find this movie extremely hard to sit through.

Really when you simplify the story line in this movie, it is just the same as every other Dracula movie. They just took the original story that everyone knows and tried to do something different. In this case though, it really did not work for them at all.

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Given the time it was made in, I suppose they had limited resources compared to today. However, when you consider the original Exorcist movie came out in 1973, only a year after this movie, it makes me wonder why! Why did they bother? More to the point, why did they made a sequel?

Based on my viewing of this movie today I am going to give it a 1/10, 10 being brilliant and 1 being not so brilliant. I am giving a low score as I actually struggled to sit through this movie. I am not alone though, my dear hubby also lost 93 minutes of his life he can never get back!

Bonus Features

    • — BLACULA —
    • Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian/Filmmaker David F. Walker (Reflections On Blaxploitation: Actors And Directors Speak)
    • Theatrical Trailer

Blacula is now a part of a double bluray release by shout Factory


  1. A one? You’re an idiot. Blacula is a great film that perfectly encapsulates a moment in time in American history and culture. The music, the fashion and the urban slang are all of historic importance. William Marshall plays the titular Count brilliantly, lending the vampire a weight of genuine nobility and tragedy that Lugosi and other actors have fallen short of. Both Blacula and its sequel were both serious horror films and seriously good.

    • Thx for the detailed reply.
      While that may all be relevant to the film and some viewers, the film itself has been listed as among the “so bad they are good” category for quite some time.
      So the film itself is rated to that criteria
      (also worth noting users can rate the film themselves to raise its rating, 1 per use)


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