Scream Blacula Scream

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Scream Blacula Scream
Scream Blacula Scream.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Blacula 2
Directed byBob Kelljan
Produced byJoseph T. Naar
Written byJoan Torres
Raymond Koenig
Maurice Jules
StarringWilliam H. Marshall
Pam Grier
Don Mitchell
Michael Conrad
Lynne Moody
Richard Lawson
Music byBill Marx
CinematographyIsidore Mankofsky
Edited byFabien D. Tordjmann
Production
company
Power Productions
Distributed byAmerican International Pictures
Release date
June 27, 1973 (1973-06-27)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$1 million (US/ Canada rentals)[1]

Scream Blacula Scream is a 1973 American blaxploitation horror film, made under the working titles Blacula Is Beautiful and Blacula Lives Again![2] It is a sequel to the 1972 film Blacula. The film was produced by American International Pictures (AIP) and Power Productions. This was the acting debut of Richard Lawson.

Plot[edit]

After a dying Voodoo queen, Mama Loa, chooses an adopted apprentice, Lisa Fortier (Pam Grier) as her successor, her arrogant son and true heir, Willis, (Richard Lawson) is outraged.

Seeking revenge, he buys the bones of Mamuwalde the vampire from the former shaman of the voodoo cult and uses voodoo to resurrect the vampire to do his bidding. However, while it brings Mamuwalde back to life, he quickly bites Willis upon awakening. Willis now finds himself in a curse of his own doing: made into a vampire hungering for blood and, ironically, a slave to the very creature he sought to control.

Meanwhile, Justin Carter (Don Mitchell), an ex-police officer with a large collection of acquired African antiquities and an interest in the occult, begins to investigate the murders caused by Mamuwalde and his growing vampire horde. Justin meets Mamuwalde at a party Justin hosts to display the African collection pieces before being moved to the University's museum. They discuss the artifacts, unbeknown to anyone else, that were from the region of Africa Mamuwalde hails from, including pieces of jewelry once worn by his late wife Luva.

Mamuwalde also meets Justin's girlfriend, Lisa Fortier, at the party and he discovers that Lisa is naturally adept at voodoo. Lisa discovers Mamuwalde's true nature after a friend of hers, Gloria, falls victim to his bite and is resurrected as a vampire who nearly feeds on her, if not for Mamuwalde's intervention. He later asks her for help to cure him of his vampire curse.

Justin, with the help of L.A.P.D. Lieutenant Harley Dunlop (Michael Conrad), pulls together several other cops to go to the Mamuwalde residence to investigate the recent deaths. While Lisa is performing the ritual to cure Mamuwalde, using a voodoo doll fashioned to look like him, Justin, Harley and their men raid the house, fighting against Blacula's vampire minions which include several friends of theirs. Willis is killed during this scuffle. Justin manages to find Lisa and Mamuwalde and interrupts the ritual. Lisa refuses to help Mamuwalde after she witnesses him kill the other police officers in the house in a fit of rage.

After realizing that Lisa is no longer willing to help Mamuwalde, he rejects his human nature and decides to convert Justin into a vampire. Shouting he is only "Blacula", Lisa stabs the prince's voodoo doll with Justin's arrows repeatedly. The film ends with Blacula screaming out in pain from Lisa's voodoo doll attacks, but his final state is left ambiguous.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

The film was released theatrically in the United States by American International Pictures in June 1973.

The film was released on DVD by MGM in 2004 as part of their Soul Cinema series.[3] It is currently out of print. In 2010, the film was digitized in High Definition (1080i) and broadcast on MGM HD.

In 2015, Scream Factory released the film on Blu-ray in 1080p as a double feature with Blacula.

Reception[edit]

The film did not perform as well as its predecessor and drew mixed critical reviews.[4] Roger Ebert gave the film 1.5 stars out of a possible 4. He wrote that Scream Blacula Scream "shows some evidence of having been made in a hurry with limited funds", with poor lighting and a sometimes confusing plot. Despite these technical flaws, Ebert praised Marshall for bringing a "terrifying dignity" to his role while Grier "has a spirit and enthusiasm that's refreshing."[5] Gene Siskel gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4 and wrote, "I am pleased to report that 'Scream, Blacula, Scream'—a sequel—is better than the original. A successful sequel is a rarity, but this one doesn't come as a surprise, because the director is Bob Kelljan, the man responsible for 'Count Yorga, Vampire' and 'The Return of Count Yorga,' two of the most frightening horror films ever made."[6] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times agreed that "this sequel is far superior to the original, possessing much assured style as well as considerable humor. That's because writers Joan Torres and Raymond Koenig, aided by Maurice Jules, have turned out a more polished script and, above all, because AIP assigned Bob Kelljan, who made 'Count Yorga, Vampire,' such a delight, to direct."[7] Roger Greenspun of The New York Times, however, stated that the film was "not, as the title might suggest, too much fun for anybody," writing of the performers that Kelljan "hasn't enough for them to do. It is as if the movie had completed filming without their ever having developed the shooting script."[8] Geoff Brown of The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote that "deprived of his initial novelty, this African prince with the urbane manner and resonant voice seems indistinguishable from the common Caucasian variety [of vampire], and his adventures will excite only the most undemanding of audiences. The mixture of blaxploitation and horror does offer intriguing possibilities, but Kelljan and his screenwriters prefer to take the well-trodden path, in which fangs are dug in and screams are dragged out with depressing orthodoxy."[9]

The 1980 book The Golden Turkey Awards "awarded" the film the distinction as the "Worst Blaxploitation Movie" of all time. In the book, authors Michael Medved and Harry Medved freely admit that they chose Scream Blacula Scream as much for the rowdy crowd at a late-night, Skid Row theater screening as for the action on-screen.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, 9 January 1974 p 60
  2. ^ AKAs for Scream Blacula Scream at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ "Scream, Blacula, Scream". mgm.com. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
  4. ^ "Scream, Blacula, Scream". Chicago Sun-Times.
  5. ^ https://rogerebert.com/reviews/scream-blacula-scream-1973
  6. ^ Siskel, Gene (July 18, 1973). "Scream, Blacula". Chicago Tribune. Section 2, p. 8.
  7. ^ Thomas, Kevin (August 8, 1973). "'Scream' Longer on Laughs Than Chills". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 10-11.
  8. ^ Greenspun, Roger (July 19, 1973). "Screen: A Vampire's Lot". The New York Times. 31.
  9. ^ Brown, Geoff (May 1975). "Scream, Blacula, Scream". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 42 (496): 115.

External links[edit]