1970s Cult Classic ‘Blacula’ Rises On The Big Screen at Rustwoods


 This Saturday, February 29, Rustwoods and Whit’s End host a 1970s-themed Blacula Extravaganza presented by magic virtuoso, Adam Cardone, that will have you looking over your shoulder. Come dressed in your ‘70s garb and brace yourself to watch the 1972 blaxploitation cult classic, “Blacula,” on the big screen, plus relive the disco era with go-go dancers, a 1970s-themed costume party, and be mesmerized as Cardone makes your goose bumps rise even higher with his spine-tingling, world-class magic.

One of the top grossing films of its time, “Blacula” is a loose adaptation of the classic, “Dracula,” starring African-American famed Shakespearean actor, William Marshall, who wreaks a terrifying dignity in his role as Prince Mamauwalde, an 18th-century emissary of an African nation seeking the help of Count Dracula to suppress the slave trade. Unfortunately, Count Dracula scoffs at the prince and transforms him into a vampire, cursing him with the name, “Blacula,” and sealing him and his wife, Luva, in a coffin buried in his Transylvanian castle. Then, a century later in the Watts district of Los Angeles, interior decorators bring back the coffin from Transylvania, unknowingly freeing Blacula, who then goes on a rampage as he follows a woman named, Tina, whom he believes is the reincarnation of his wife, Luva. Blacula not only lays the mack down on Tina, but sinks his teeth in unsuspecting party-goers.

Cardone, who lists this movie as one of his favorites, says this is one film, where you’ll not only feel the funk and soul of the ‘70s, but sink your teeth into a cult classic that many people may never have heard of.

He shared, “I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania at a time when you could not see a lot of movies. This was pre-VHS and cable era. All we had were movie magazines and television. I remember seeing “Blacula” on television as a child, and it actually was one of the first movies that I remember being genuinely very scared by. It’s a great monster movie, and a lot of people have never seen it. It sounds like it’s going to be a comedy because of the title, but though it’s mildly humorous, it’s definitely terrifying. There’s some bad special effects and really bad makeup in a few scenes that will make people laugh, and that’s great. That was the time.

“Plus ‘Blacula’ takes you back to the heyday of the ‘70s. There’s a party scene in a night club, where the band, Hues Corporation (known for the song, ‘Rock the Boat’), performs live in the film. ‘Blacula’ really transports you to what night clubs were like in the early ‘70s. This is what we are going to recreate at Rustwoods for this Saturday’s extravaganza. The idea was let’s have a screening of ‘Blacula,’ when people could see the film, plus since it’s Black History Month, we were like, ‘Why not turn this into a party, celebrating the Blaxploitation film era with the screening of ‘Blacula,’ a costume party, go-go dancers and magic.”

Though not required, attendees are free to come in costume, whether it be flat out ‘70s-themed, horror or both. According to Mikal Hameed, proprietor of Rustwoods, there will be intermissions during the film, so folks can chat, mingle, be entertained by go-go dancers and of course, Cardone’s magic show.

Hameed said, “I’m not going to sit folks down for the entire movie, we are going to make it old school, so people can take a break, mingle, discuss the movie, and have fun. I saw ‘Blacula’ when I was young, and to watch it again this Saturday on the big screen is going to be epic. We even got in contact with the son of the actor who plays Blacula. He was so excited, and we want to grow this into something bigger in the future.”

Rustwoods/Whit’s End/Cardone’s Blacula Extravaganza happens this Saturday, February 29 at Rustwoods (97-02 Rockaway Beach Blvd). Admission is $10. Doors open at 8 p.m. Film and presentations begin at 9 p.m. with intermissions. The event will be hosted inside the event/art space’s heated bunker, so get ready to warm your bodies, feed your hunger at Whit’s, and satiate your thirst for everything ‘70s and magically spooky. BYOB. According to Hameed, only 50 seats are available, so it's recommended that you buy your ticket online at eventbrite.com, search: Blacula Extravaganza, but you can still try your luck and pay for admission at the door.

 By Kami-Leigh Agard