Stephen Tyrone Williams plays Dr. Hess Greene in ‘Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.’
The Kickstarter page where Spike Lee raised $1,418,910 from fans for his latest “Joint” expressly states that the money would not used to shoot a remake of Blacula (1972). But it also failed to inform investors that the crowdfunded feature was ostensibly-inspired by another Blaxploitation era horror flick, namely, Ganja & Hess (1973). And after screening this disappointing indie, it’s obvious there was no reason to redo that picture either.
Spike’s sharp decline as a filmmaker in recent years is nothing short of shocking, with Oldboy (2013) and Red Hook Summer (2012) also submitted for your disapproval. Claims to the contrary notwithstanding, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is basically a boring vampire adventure that’s severely lacking in terms of tension,thrills, premise, storyline, special f/x, plausibility, production value, editing and character development. Am I forgetting anything?
The tawdry tale revolves around Dr. Hess Greene (Stephen Tyrone Williams), a wealthy anthropologist specializing in African Art History. This unrepentant bon vivant divides his time between New York City and an oceanfront summer home up on Martha’s Vineyard, living in the lap of luxury with the help of a private jet, a chauffeured Rolls Royce, and a loyal manservant (Rami Malek).
The plot thickens soon after Dr. Greene is stabbed with an ancient Ashanti artifact, when he develops an insatiable addiction to blood. To satisfy the craving, he steals some from a hospital, and he also embarks on a killing spree. Besides gratuitous slaughter, the film indulges in frontal nudity and eroticized violence, including a sleazy, lesbian sex scene that looks like an outtake from a soft core snuff film.
What would Jesus do, Spike? Repent!
Fair (1 star)
Running time: 123 minutes
Studio: 40 Acres & a Mule Filmworks
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
To see a trailer for Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n739-zHeooQ