Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ganja & Hess

Ganja & Hess is a 1973 horror film, an experimental effort directed by Bill Gunn (who was a playwright, novelist, and actor in addition to being a film director). This film was chosen as one of ten best American films of that decade at the Cannes Film Festival. This is an interesting movie. The ideas have held up well, and Spike Lee remade it in 2014. (This film does include nudity, just in case that bothers you.)

The New Yorker concludes with this:
“Ganja & Hess,” like the movies of Gunn’s great independent-outsider contemporaries, suggests what has been missing from modern studio filmmaking—and what’s missing from Hollywood to this day.
Slant Magazine says,
Ganja & Hess, which has been retroactively, circumstantially cast as a berserk dash toward career suicide on Gunn’s part, is so singular, so opaque, that it doesn’t even have the draw of commerce-friendly exoticism. If Shaft is Barry White and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is the Sex Pistols, then Ganja & Hess is John Cage.
DVD Talk opens a positive review with this:
Not just an important horror film but one of the true "lost films" of the 1970s and a significant piece in African-American cinema, Ganja & Hess (1973) so transcended genre and overall aesthetic expectations that it all but doomed itself to a fate of almost total obscurity for several decades.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 83%.


  1. Another fun take on Vampires. Ironic how all these authors and screenwriters seem to know the "rules of vampiredom."

    1. This one is quite the different take, including both gospel singing and black church services and full nudity. There are many ways to approach the subject.

  2. Another interesting looking film I have never heard of. I think I might check this out later today and I will let you know how I like it. Hugs-Erika

    1. This one is very different from most other vampire movies I've seen, with an emphasis on small gospel church services instead of crucifixes and holy water. There's also full nudity. The music was good, I thought.