Ganja & Hess
Director: Bill Gunn Run Time: 110 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 1973
Starring: Bill Gunn, Duane Jones, Marlene Clark
Horror icon Duane Jones (Night of the Living Dead) stars as anthropologist Hess Green, who is stabbed with an ancient ceremonial dagger by his unstable assistant (Gunn). The dagger bestows on Hess the blessing of immortality… and the curse of an unquenchable thirst for blood. Bill Gunn’s revolutionary independent film is a highly stylized and utterly original treatise on sex, religion, and African American identity. It is also one of the progenitors of the arthouse vampire films that grew out of the exploitation movies of the 1960s and 70s and used vampirism as a way to explore existential issues while disguised as a horror flick.
“A seminal take on Blaxploitation and horror.” – Cody Corrall, Chicago Reader
“Bill Gunn took the structure of a Dracula story and made an open-wounded statement that was brazenly uncommercial and intensely personal.” – Brian Eggert, Deep Focus Review