Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ganja & Hess (1973)

Director: Bill Gunn

Writer: Bill Gunn

Composer: Sam Waymon

Starring: Duane Jones, Marlene Clark, Bill Gunn, Sam Waymon, Leonard Jackson, Candece Tarpley, Richard Harrow, John Hoffmeister, Betty Barney, Mabel King, Betsy Thurman, Enrico Fales, Tommy Lane, Tara Fields

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Devil wanted their souls...She wanted their bodies and more!

Plot: Dr. Hess Green, an archaeologist overseeing an excavation at the ancient civilization of Myrthia, is stabbed by his research assistant, who then commits suicide. When Hess wakes up, he finds that his wounds have healed, but he now has an insatiable thirst for blood, due to the knife carrying ancient germs. Soon after, Hess meets his former assistant's wife, Ganja. Though Ganja is initially concerned about her missing husband, she soon falls for Hess. Though they are initially happy together, Ganja will eventually learn the truth about Hess, and about her husband. Will she survive the revelation? Will Hess?

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I don't know.  See the newspaper advertising below?  Don't dare go into this expecting anything as exciting as that.  It's just not that kind of horror film.  It's slowly paced (which works), it's got nice visuals but it's more of a meditative kind of easy going horror drama.  Does it work? I'm not sure how well.  I think it'd take another viewing or two to really soak it all in before I can really say how much I liked it.  I'd like to believe I'd dig it more after another viewing but there are thousands of films I haven't seen and life is too short so that's probably not going to happen.  The acting is quite good.  A lot of the performances feel like you're a fly on the wall and you're hearing real life conversations.  I don't know if there was any improvisation with the script but it works nicely.  Watch the YouTube clip above and that'll give you an idea of what you're getting into before you decide to take the plunge. It's not a bad film but I can't exactly say for certain that it's a great one.  At least not yet. 

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