Dracula’s Soul Brother

February 2, 2010

I just finished my first viewing of Blacula, and I had to share the love. This is one of those great ’70s flicks that provides both unintentional laughs and a few effective scares, all wrapped up in one great, camp-filled package. William Marshall owns the screen as Mamuwalde, an African prince from the 1800s who seeks out the original Count Dracula’s help in ending the slave trade. Instead, he discovers that the Count is all but a card-carrying member of the KKK. Dracula offers to buy Mamuwalde’s wife, then turns his minions loose on the prince and his bride. Just before sealing them into a vault, Dracula bites Mamuwalde and curses him with both an eternal lust for blood and the nickname “Blacula” in a scene you can see in the trailer below:

Naturally, Mamuwalde is resurrected years later, and pursues a woman who appears to be his reincarnated wife. With a name like Blacula  you might expect a heaping helping of crude stereotypes, but with the exception of a couple of gay antique dealers, that’s mostly held in check. What you will find is a movie that’s surprisingly effective in places. Marshall is an intense, intimidating presence on screen, and when he goes into full vampire mode his eyebrows rival those of fellow ’70s stud Dean Stockwell. All in all I had a great time with this flick, and can’t wait to hunt down the sequel, Scream Blacula Scream.

Now, from a bonafide ’70s success to one that appears to capture the look and feel of what is rapidly becoming one of my favorite film decades. I’m posting a trailer for a movie that I’ve just recently heard about, The House of the Devil. Set in the ’80s, the film apparently uses film techniques and technology from the late ’70s/early ’80s, and is played as straight-up horror. It’s out on DVD this week, and I can’t wait to see it. Here’s a taste:

‘The Wolfman’ cometh

February 2, 2010

I’ve been wanting to write a post for several days now, but things have been busy. I’ve been wanting to let you know about the new short story I’m writing, and about the new reviews (Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror Vol. 3, Under the Dome) that’ll be popping up over the next couple of weeks, about the interviews I’ve been running over on my Examiner.com blog, but there’s just been no time. I’ll get to all that, but not today.

Today, inspired by the interview I’m working on with Jonathan Maberry, who has written the novelization of the upcoming remake of The Wolfman, I thought I’d share the movie’s trailer with you. So here it is:

The Wolfman somehow became the battleground over the last year or so for the practical effects vs. CGI argument that’s been raging ever since Terminator 2: Judgement Day. I’m typically a pro-practical guy, but I’m not against the careful use of computer graphics to augment the final effect. But all of that is beside the point – what I want from The Wolfman is a taste of good old-fashioned Hammer-style horror, with a dash of the contemporary thrown in. I plan on seeing this one as soon as I can, and I’ll let you know if it fills my particular bill.