Dr. Hess Green, an archaeologist overseeing an excavation at the ancient civilization of Myrthia, is stabbed by his research assistant, who then commits suicide. When Hess wakes up, he finds that his wounds have healed, but he now has an insatiable thirst for blood. It turns out that the knife he was stabbed with carried ancient germs that have turned him into a vampire. Soon after, Hess meets his former assistant’s wife, Ganja. Though Ganja is initially concerned about her missing husband, she soon falls for Hess. Though they are initially happy together, Ganja will eventually learn the truth about Hess, and about her husband. Will she survive the revelation? Will Hess? —IMDb
A noisy, art-damaged fever dream, prone to unintelligible fits of madness and the occasional audio-visual freakout. Opaque and borderline inscrutable, Ganja & Hess both undermines and circumvents the iron-clad "rules" of traditional vampire lore as well as the conventions of the Blaxploitation subgenre. Rough-hewn, but endowed with strong mesmeric properties.
Really strange melding of blaxploitation horror and arthouse pretensions. There are a number of scenes that seem to drag on endlessly, and the story is often muddled to the point of incomprehensibility and weighed down by heavy-handed social and political symbolism. But at times, the strange atmosphere is mesmerizing, and Duane Jones and Marlene Clark are both very good. A flawed but fascinating film.
This is one of those movies that disappoints while you're watching it, but when it's over, you think about it, and you begin to like it more and more. Very powerful, but takes its time sinking into your brain. I give it an extra star for the incredible soundtrack by Sam Waymon (brother of the late, great Nina Simone).