100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

100 Days of Horror Day Sixty-Nine - "Blacula!"


How is everyone this fine rainy-assed day? You know what I think, don't ya? I think it's a fine day to slip into bed with a bowl of popcorn, and warm friend and a stack of crappy horror movies to watch and laugh at!

And let me tell you - today's selection is perfect for both! If you don't find yourself cracking up at the outrageousness of the masterpiece that is "Blacula," then fella I can't help you. Go rent "The Love Guru" and call an escort service. Because obviously your taste is so bad, no one would spend one second of tie with you unless they were being paid a considerable amount of change.

Now on to the show! And don't forget: Tomorrow is Oct. 1, and that kicks off "Ringer Month!" These are some of the best (and most of my favorite) horror movies of all time! I will repost an October list tomorrow, but in the meantime set your phasers to 1982 and behold the horrifying majesty that could only be "Poltergeist!"

Rave on, Readers! And thanks as usual for your time!

Blackula (1972): Directed by William Crain. Starring William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Gordon Pinsent and Thalmus Rasulala.

The Skinny: When an African prince is damned to un-death by the racist Dracula - earning himself the name "Blacula" in the process - he returns in modern day Harlem, New York, to cause havoc and to raise an army of fellow "African" vampires.

What's Good: A movie that walks a fine line between horror and exploitation - or, "blacksploitation," as the critics call it - "Blacula" was a critical failure, a box office smash and has risen to the status of cult movie over the last 38 years. And for a few good reasons: William Marshall's doomed Black Prince of Death is a beguiling blend of tortured anguish and a long-legged Mack Daddy. As he parties his way through New York, he is also chasing after a women who bears resemblance to his long-dead queen - just like the original "Dracula" story. BUt Marshall does it to a scintillating early disco/funk soundtrack. And that's just bad-assery at its finest.

What's Bad: This movie has, perhaps, the worst vampire make-up I have ever seen. When I was a likkle bwai in the 70s and I first discovered the joys of Halloween and horror movies, I saw this movie and the vamps - with their silly green pancake and huge, oversized fangs that hung over their lips. And I was scared shitless. Terrified. And I would try to unconsciously replicate that make-up years later as a young teen and I would participate in haunted trails and parades. To se it now is to take measure of exactly what it means to be "low budget." Also, this movie is potentially offensive to blacks, Italians, vampires, African princes and the entire citizenry of 70s-era New York City.

Why We Like It: I love trashy movies, I love movies from teh 70s and I love vampire movies in general (well, to a point - no goddamn "Twilight" in my near future). So there is little for me to hate from this film, frankly. There's also the nostalgia element, since this and its sequel - "Scream, Blacula, Scream," were frequently shown on Channel 48's "Creature Double Feature" Saturday afternoons when I was like eight years old. It's seriously a funny movie and one for the history books, if only because of Marshall's incredible take on the vampire prince myth.

Memorable Stuff: Like I said, ghoulishly horrible vampire makeup that just is about as scary as a rubber spider. Sure gave me nightmares and endless ideas on how to scare people out of their wits when I was a teen. Now? I crack up so hard I fall off the sofa. Enjoy. Oh and Blacula's ultimate fate - dying on a sunlit street as maggots squirm in his remains - is also a standout scene.