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August 1, 2011

Flicks: Scream, Blacula, Scream! (1973)

Mamuwalde returns to L.A. to feast upon the blood of even more b-movie actresses.

William Marshall reprises his signature role of the undead African prince Mamuwalde in Scream, Blacula, Scream (1973). This time Marshall stars with the bodacious Pam Grier (93 movies to her credits including Coffy and Jackie Brown). Grier is the voodoo priestess Lisa whom our old friend with the pointy teeth has directed his vampiric attentions towards.

This sequel to the original Blacula, released by infamous American International Pictures (AIP), features much higher production standards than the first and choreographed fight scenes. No more badly staged improvised chop-socky as was the case with the first film. This chapter adds an unexpected ferocity with Marshal's characterization of the doomed prince.

No offense to Bill Marx who arranged the sequel's soundtrack - but he was no Gene Page. Gene Page's soundtrack work on the first film from 1972 was funky, sometimes dark and unquestionably excellent. Key tracks from the original film include "Blacula", "Run, Tina, Run!", "Good To The Last Drop" and the inspired composition of "Wakeeli".

"Wakeeli" tells the story with one drum, re-calling Mamuwalde's African heritage then moves into high notes from a xylophone and warning tones from a violin followed by deeper drums and a harpsichord. Then, the tempo is shattered - before picking up a slower and more fractured pace.

The composition echoes the story of Blacula very well. Additionally, as the last song on the album, Wakeeli means "Farewell" in Swahili.

IMDb, Scream, Blacula, Scream! (1973)
Wikipedia, Scream Blacula Scream
Wikipedia, Blacula
Realm Of Horror, Scream Blacula Scream

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