Fade to Black

When one thinks of the blaxploitation horror movies that could have been — not just THE BLACK CAT, BLACK SABBATH, BLACK CHRISTMAS… but also BLACK ZOMBIE, THE INVISIBLACK MAN, THE HUNCHBLACK OF NOTRE DAME, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPRAH, THE WOLFBLACKMAN, THE BLACK CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON… the list is both endless and deeply dispiriting.

And Saturday Night Live has already been there, it seems.

But, while one would expect the whole sub-genre to be a horrible melange of styles that really don’t belong together, and while it’s true that the attempts to maintain the original gothic trappings (Blacula’s cape, the castle in BLACKENSTEIN) in modern settings were perhaps misguided, the films are more interesting than they ought to be. I can imagine a world in which they’re even MORE interesting, where Blacula’s confrontation with the street pimps is extended to form a full-length and coherent political commentary using genre as allegory, but failing that, what we got is still rather better than what we were entitled to expect. And that’s down to the enthusiasm and integrity of actors (who particularly seem to have committed themselves above and beyond the call of duty) and filmmakers.

Only GANJA AND HESS truly takes itself seriously as an artistic statement, in the best sense, and thus it forms the subject of this week’s edition of The Forgotten.

And here is today’s limerick.


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