GANJA & HESS
BILL GUNN | USA | 1973 | 113 MIN | R
The feature will be preceded by a special introduction by Ashlee Blackwell, Co-writer/Producer of Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror.
Night of the Living Dead star Duane Jones stars as Hess Green, an anthropologist who develops a taste for human blood after being attacked by his troubled assistant. When the assistant’s beautiful wife Ganja (Marlene Clark) turns up in search of her missing husband, she and Hess develop a tangled relationship driven by bloodlust (and regular lust). Recut by its producers and mismarketed at the time of its release as a campy blaxploitation picture in the vein of Blacula, this long-unavailable masterwork has been restored to director Bill Gunn’s original vision. Drawing on elements of horror, Gunn pushes the genre to its artistic limit, concocting an intoxicating and idiosyncratic genre film that lyrically addresses issues of sex, religion, and black identity.
About the Speaker:
Ashlee Blackwell is the creator of Graveyard Shift Sisters, a digital resource archiving the presence and contributions of Black women in the horror and sci-fi genres. She received her BA and MA in American Studies/Liberal Arts from Temple University and has written for Fangoria, Rue Morgue, Shadow and Act, and more. She’s also the co-writer/producer of the Shudder original documentary, Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror.
Cast: Duane Jones, Marlene Clark, Bill Gunn, Sam Waymon
“A sensual, scholarly, magic-realist exploration of black history and black desire.” –The New York Times
Part of the Philadelphia Film Society’s AFTER HOURS series.