When Spike Lee announced that he was going to fund his new movie through Kickstarter, it was clear that it was going to be a different kind of Spike Lee joint. “Human beings who are addicted to Blood. Funny, Sexy and Bloody. A new kind of love story (and not a remake of Blacula),” he wrote in his initial description. When the movie premiered in June, we got to see just how different Da Sweet Blood of Jesus really was, with its mix of pulpy exploitation and art-house filmmaking, fictionalized Ashanti mythology, and (as promised) oodles of sex and blood.
Now, Lee has followed his first venture into crowdfunding by taking a new path for distribution: Today he announced that ahead of the movie’s Feb. 13 theatrical release date, it will stream on Vimeo, and you can rent or buy it now.
A little more about Da Sweet Blood of Jesus: While it’s not a remake of Blacula, as we noted in June, it is a reinterpretation of the cult film Ganja & Hess, the arty Blaxploitation film that Bill Gunn made in the wake of Blacula’s release. Sweet Blood also contains one of Lee’s best title sequences—which is saying something—with jook dancer Lil Buck doing his time-shifting moves around various Red Hook locales.
Sweet Blood is also perhaps the most high-profile release yet for Vimeo’s on-demand service, which launched with Don Hertzfeldt’s brilliant movie It’s Such a Beautiful Day before adding Joss Whedon’s In Your Eyes (directed by relative newcomer Brin Hill) and Season 2 of the great series High Maintenance, one of Slate’s “Top 10 TV Shows of 2014.” Like those movies and TV shows, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is a distinctive piece of work that’s hard to imagine coming from a major Hollywood studio, and it will be interesting to see what Vimeo On Demand will start streaming next.