Both of these films have been on DVD before under the "Soul Cinema" label from MGM. Now Shout Factory finally brings two of my favorite films to the Blu-ray format.
William Marshall is an African Prince named Mamuwalde who has traveled to castle Dracula to see if the Count is interested in helping stop the slave trade. The Count turns out to be a racist who curses Mamuwalde to be what he is. Dracula also locks Mamuwalde's wife, Luva in the tomb with her now vampire husband.
Flash forward to 1972 and two antique dealers buying all of the things in the Count's former castle, including a coffin that contains Mamuwalde. before long the black vampire is loose and drinking blood. He meets a young woman who is the reincarnation of his long lost wife. Vonetta McGee is stunningly beautiful as Tina/Luva.
Dr Gordon Thomas (Thalmus Rasulala) and his co- worker an girlfriend Michelle (Denise Nicholas) suspect a vampire is loose, but it takes a while for them to know it is Mamuwalde. Soon an army of vampires are fighting the LAPD. The ending is bittersweet as the doomed black vampire loses his love for the second time and decides to just walk out into the sunlight.
This is a powerful and well made film. Marshall is always a standout.
Scream Blacula Scream came the next year after the huge success of the prior film. Mamuwalde (William Marshall) is brought back via voodoo rites. He is not happy about this, but turns the man who brought him back into a vampire servant. Richard Lawson is very good in the role of Willis Daniels, the reluctant servant whose rival, Lisa Fortier, played by the very sexy Pam Grier, is chosen as a new leader of a voodoo cult. This has Willis angry and he vows revenge.
Mamuwalde falls for Lisa and he tries to convince he to use her voodoo powers to exorcise the evil out of him. In the meantime the vampires multiply rapidly and again we get a showdown between a mansion full of creepy looking ghouls and the police.
there are some truely memorable scenes in this film that are not easily forgotten. The rest of the top notch cast includes Don Gordon, Michael Conrad, Lynn Moody, Barbara Rhodes, and Eric Mason.
The disc also has an on camera interview with Richard Lawson, who relates some interesting things about his career. Get this set as it is one of the best of the year so far.