If BLACKENSTEIN was one of the worst blaxploitation films ever made, BLACULA is easily one of the best. Respected stage actor Marshall is outstanding in this subtle tongue-in-cheek version of the vampire legend. Action begins in the 18th century, when an African prince (Marshall) is visiting Transylvania There he is attacked by Count Dracula (McCauley), who makes him into one of the undead and renames him Blacula. Two hundred years later the story picks up in Los Angeles. A couple of fey interior designers have bought the contents of the Castle Dracula, including Blacula's coffin. Soon Blacula is romping around LA biting necks and chasing after the beautiful Tina (McGee), whom he believes is his reincarnated wife. Enter police pathologist Rasulala (Thomas) who thinks he has a vampire on his hands and is determined to end Blacula's reign of terror. Although BLACULA is surprisingly conventional (given the concept's potential) and painfully low-budget, the hammy performance by Marshall makes it enjoyable. A sequel--SCREAM, BLACULA, SCREAM--followed in 1973.