Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ganja and Hess (1973)

Tonight's movie is the acclaimed Ganja and Hess.

The version I picked up is the original, director's cut. The back of this movie cover has a great deal of interesting information not about the plot line, but about the history of this movie. Must share:

"Ganja & Hess has been hailed as on of the great artistic achievements of modern American cinema. It was the only American film screened during Critics' Week of the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, where it earned a standing ovation.

Yet this landmark motion picture has rarely been screened in its original form. Kelly-Jordan Enterprises, the company that produced it, were disappointed that writer-director Bill Gunn had not delivered a more conventional "blaxploitation" genre film. They pulled the picture out of distribution after only a week and hacked it down from 110 minutes to 78 in a desperate and foolish bid to force it into a drive-in format. Bill Gunn and his fellow filmmakers removed their names from this bastardized version, which has appeared on video under six different titles. 

For years it was believed that Gunn's original cut was all but lost forever. This exclusive DVD release has been painstakingly reassembled from recently discovered 35 mm elements, and marks the first time this important work has been made available as its makers intended."


"The great underground classic of Black Film, and the most complicated, intriguing, subtle, sophisticated, and passionate Black films of the Seventies." James Monaco, American Film Now

"One of the most literate, allegorical, and evasive of all horror films." Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

"One of the most extraordinary ethnic pictures ever to have come out of the United States....a vampire story that soars above the conventions of the genre and leaves audiences reeling and wondering whether anybody had any idea how potent a film they were making." Alan Stanbrook, Films and Filming

Suggested movie pairing: Wine of course. And away we go!


One of a kind film, and the soundtrack IS AMAZING. This film relays a very interesting perspective on vampires, love, hate, and religion. This movie also feels fast and slow at the same time, I've never really experienced/seen anything like it. The viewer must pay attention throughout the entire film, however. I got a little side tracked now and then and had to back track every time because so much happened in a matter of 10 seconds. Highly recommended for those who are passionate about deep, philosophical horror movies.

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