Whatever the synopsis or trailer below may imply, Spike Lee’s “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” is not a vampire film. Starring Stephen Tyrone Williams, Elvis Nolasco and Zaraah Abrahams, the long-awaited reinterpretation of Bill Gunn’s 1973 cult classic “Ganja & Hess” focuses on an intelligent doctor who develops an uncontrollable thirst for blood after coming into contact with a mysterious artifact. Dr. Hess may share a vampire’s addiction, but he’s no fang-baring, cloak-hooded nightcrawler.
As the debut trailer makes clear, the film fits right in the wheelhouse of the outspoken filmmaker. Not only is the clip full of evocative images (Lee’s use of atmospheric colors remains unmatched), but it also makes clear how Lee will use this supernatural-leaning genre picture to get at some of his most personally resonant themes – love, sex, politics, race, America, etc. In other words, this is a typical Spike Lee joint.
Gravitas Ventures picked up the film for distribution last month following a longwinded acquisition process. Lee raised $1,418,910 for the project through an infamous Kickstarter campaign that received criticism for taking advantage of a system that exists to help out filmmakers of a lesser economic status. “Sweet Blood” premiered at the American Black Film Festival to mixed reviews. Gravitas will release the film theatrically and on VOD February 13, 2015
Watch the trailer below: