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Ganja & Hess (1973)

Lauded in some circles as one of the best movies to explore black culture seriously within a genre context and seen by others as just a dull vampire tale, director Bill Gunn’s spiritual contemplation on African myth versus Christianity was severely cut and tampered with on its initial release and re-titled Blood Couple.

Duane Jones (of Night of the Living Dead fame) is an anthropologist studying the ancient religion of Myrthia. When he’s stabbed by a sacrificial dagger, he becomes addicted to blood and resistant to death and starts having visions of his native Africa.

Thoughtful and thought-provoking, Gunn’s offbeat tale is a haunting experience if one is prepared to forgive its slow patches.

Dr Hess Green
Duane Jones
Ganja Meda
Marlene Clark
Bill Gunn
Reverend Luther Williams
Sam Waymon
Leonard Jackson
Jack Sargent
John Hoffmeister
Queen of Myrthia
Mabel King
Betsy Thurman
Dr Green’s son
Enrico Fales
Tommy Lane

Bill Gunn