During the 1970’s, Blaxploitation moved into the horror category with a number of movies, made for Blacks, staring Blacks. One of the most important actors from this period was William Marshall. He starred as Blacula, a Black version of Dracula in two movies, Blacula and Scream, Blacula, Scream. Blacula became the Blaxploitation’s eras first prominent horror film.
Blacula gets released from his coffin in the 20th century and raids the population of Los Angeles for victims. Blacula, along the way, finds a girl by the name of Tina and falls in love with her. The police find out about Blacula and track him down. In a final chase scene, Tina dies and Blacula is left to mourn. He then sacrifices his life to be with Tina.
The movie was a commercial success. There were huge premieres in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the Black community. Although Blacula does make victims out of a number of white L.A. police, critics felt it was a milder than most of the Blaxploitation films.
For the most part, Blacks do not fare well in horror films, as they are generally the first to suffer or be killed. While some may object to the negative portrayals of Blacks in many Blaxploitation films, at least in the horror films some Black actors were allowed to live until the end!
There were a number of horror films made during the Blaxploitation era. These films allowed allowed Blacks to fight evil while sticking it to the man. The Museum of UnCut Funk pays homage to the classic Blaxploitation horror flick with a few posters from our collection.