SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM *** USA 1973 Dir: Bob Kelljan. 97 mins

A superior sequel to BLACULA, with William Marshall’s Count revived in a 12 minute prologue and gaining Richard Lawson as an amusing new disciple: “Ah man are you jiving? I mean, I don’t mind bein’ a vampire and shit but this just ain’t hip!”.
Lawson’s biggest grievance about being undead is the misery of not being able to admire his own reflection. Pam Grier adds gravitas as a voodoo priestess, Marshall revels in the knowing one-liners (“I’m more of a night person…”)and there’s the inevitable 70’s urban sequence in which a bunch of ill-fated muggers accost Blacula : “With threads like that, you gotta be loaded, right?!” Alongside the usual stereotypical, stupid white cops, Janee Michelle is a genuinely creepy vampiress – reflective of director Kelljan’s vivid handling of the horrific aspects. It’s ponderous at times, but the vampire scenes (except for the animated bats) and Marshall’s performance have real power: Blacula is a simultaneously sympathetic and terrifying character. The tense, violent climax, following the cop abuse in BLACULA, is a vampire vs cops showdown that delivers the goods.

Review by Steven West

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