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Although a title card prior to the film's prologue lists the year as 1780, Filmfacts and several reviews describe the film's initial segment as being set in 1815. This is possibly due to the fact that publicity material for Blacula, found in the AMPAS Library production file on the film, listed 1815. Although only Joan Torres and Raymond Koenig were listed in the onscreen credits as screenwriters for the film, Hollywood Reporter production charts additionally list Richard Glouner. Blacula was shot on location in Los Angeles, CA, with some scenes shot in Watts and the final scenes taken at the Hyperion Outfall Treatment Plant in Playa del Rey, CA, according to contemporary sources.
A September 9, 1972 Los Angeles Times article stated that star William Marshall, a classically trained Shakespearean actor renowned for his portrayal of "Othello," received some critical press notices for starring in a black exploitation film. When, according to the article, Beverly Hills-Hollywood branch NAACP president Julius Griffin supported Mexican-American actor Anthony Quinn's proposed portrayal of black Haitian hero King Christophe and called Marshall's portrayal of "Blacula" demeaning, his constituency forced him to resign. Despite these disputes, Blacula, the first black vampire movie, quickly gained popularity and became a box-office success. In 1972 William Marshall was given an award for his performance in Blacula by The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films (originally known as The Count Dracula Society).
Blacula marked the feature film debut for director William Crain, who began his career directing the television series The Mod Squad. The film also marked the debut of prolific television actress Denise Nicholas. Hollywood Reporter production charts add Ron Pennington and George Fisher to the cast. Marshall also starred in American International Pictures' 1973 sequel, Scream Blacula Scream, also produced by Power Productions. For more information about films inspired by the character "Dracula," created by Bram Stoker, see the entry above for the 1931 Universal production Dracula.