Spike Lee’s Kickstarter-funded "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus," which, as we’ve already told you, is a reimagining of Bill Gunn’s woefully-underseen 1973 film that revolutionized the vampire genre, "Ganja & Hess," was set for a theatrical and VOD release, starting on February 13, 2015, via Gravitas Ventures.
The filmmaker has opted to now release the film a month ahead of schedule, but only on VOD – at least to start. The theatrical release is still a go on February 13, although, very likely in a limited run, for those who’d rather wait to see it on the big screen. I do wonder why the VOD and theatrical releases aren’t happening simultaneously.
Lee has partnered with Vimeo’s Vimeo On Demand service to release "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus" starting today. You have 2 choices: rent it for 24 hours for $9.99; or buy a digital version to own for $14.99.
It’s as film that I saw last summer, at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) where it premiered, and, suffice it to say that, while I appreciated its somewhat experimental nature, I had, shall we say, some *issues* with it. Although it is better to be provoked, than not, especially when it comes to art, I suppose. But Zeba Blay, who also saw it at the ABFF, reviewed it, expressing some of my own thoughts on it as well. If you missed it, read her review here.
In short, the film stars Stephen Tyrone Williams and Zaraah Abrahams in what Spike describes as a new kind of love story. Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) becomes cursed by a mysterious ancient artifact and is overwhelmed with a newfound thirst for blood. He however is not a vampire. Soon after his transformation he enters into a dangerous romance with Ganja Hightower (Zaraah Abrahams) that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society.
Rami Malek, Elvis Nolasco, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Joie Lee, Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, Jeni Perillo round out the film’s cast.
To rent or buy the film now, go to: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/dasweetbloodofjesus
Watch Spike announce the films Vimeo premiere, which is followed by the film’s trailer: