Halloween may be far away at this point, but so what? It’s always a good time to turn the lights down low, grab a snack, and watch a movie that might scare your pants off. If you’re looking for some chills and thrills, add these flicks to your queue. Here are the ten best black horror films.
What happens when a college student under hypnosis becomes possessed by the spirit of a 1940s gangster out for revenge? That’s the question at the heart of this film, which stars Louis Gossett Jr.
Def by Temptation
James Bond III wrote, directed, and stars in this film about a succubus preying on men in New York City. It’s “like Fright Night as directed by Spike Lee,” says this article. Kadeem Hardison and Samuel L. Jackson are also in this one.
The story of an African prince who is turned into a vampire, Blacula may be a little corny, but it’s a fun film and an important entry in the history of black cinema.
Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde
Despite the silly title, this is another good movie. If you’re familiar with the source material, you know that it’s about a doctor whose experiment turns him into a monster. In this one, however, a black doctor’s cell regeneration serum transforms him into a crazy white man.
It was made over 70 years ago, but Lucky Ghost stands up well. It stars Mantan Moreland (a big comedian in the 1930s and 40s) as one of two men who win a house in a craps game. Unfortunately, the house is haunted by a dead couple who used to own it. Horror and gambling may not be a typical combination, but you can find examples of this crossover on the web. In particular, there’s a Haunted House slots game hosted here. Interestingly enough, it uses Dracula-like imagery that’s actually closer to the aforementioned Blacula than anything else.
Tales from the Hood
Clarence Williams III is the storyteller in this film that gives a nod to Tales from the Crypt. In addition to some scares, Tales from the Hood addresses several important issues, such as racism and police brutality.
When Diana “Sugar” Hill’s boyfriend is killed by mobsters, what is she supposed to do? If you said, get revenge by using a voodoo spell to create her own zombie army, you’re dead on.
If you like your horror movies with rappers in them, this is the one for you. Big Daddy Kane, Bone Crusher, and E-40 are bank robbers who decide to rob a bank in the wrong town, namely one that becomes inhabited by vampires.
Originally called Blackorcist (not kidding), Abby is about a preacher’s wife who becomes possessed by a Nigerian sex demon (also not kidding). If this sounds a lot like The Exorcist, you’re right. In fact, due to a lawsuit by Warner Bros., the film was removed from theaters after only a month. While somewhat campy and reliant on that other possession movie, Abby does stand on its own. If it all sounds too absurd, you should probably watch the trailer, which you can do here.
Ganja & Hess
While Spike Lee tried to remake this with Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, it pales in comparison to the original. While Blacula was much more mainstream, Ganja & Hess is an art house, experimental flick that tries to show how real vampires might live.