28 For 28: 28 Days of Blaxploitation Legends – Day 16, Thalmus Rasulala

Thalmus Rasulala has one of the coolest names in history.

Rasulala. Thalmus Rasulala.

I dig it.

Thalmus is truly a blaxploitation legend.

He has fought off Blacula.

He has committed a jewel heist with noble intentions.

He has put on a suit and taken up the torch of justice by going after criminals like those he’s played before. He’s nothing if not versatile.

He worked as an actor for three decades.

After the blaxploiation boom died down, Thalmus focused on doing television but stilll managed to make a few films like New Jack City. He was the police commissioner in New Jack City, which was released in 1991, the same year Thalmus died of a heart attack.

Why We Love and Respect Him: He’s so good at his craft he could be wearing the same suit in side by side photos, and it would be easy to tell whether he was a good guy or bad guy in each one just by reading his eyes.

Best Known For: being Blacula’s Van Helsing. He was also on One Life to LIve.

Do Vampires Exist? – Clip from Blacula

Blaxploitation Role Call:

Cool Breeze (1972) as Sydney Lord Jones: Sydney and a crew of jewel thieves set out to pull off a jewel heist so they can establish a legit bank to serve the black community. Things get out of hand from there.

Blacula (1972) as Dr. Gordon Thomas: Dr. Gordon Thomas is a CSI-type guy with the police department, and he is the first to suspect a vampire could be responsible for several recent deaths. The rest of the department thinks he’s crazy so he’s left to investigate and manage the situation with the help of just a few close friends. He leads the way to stop Blacula.

Willie Dynamite (1974) as Robert Daniels: Robert Daniels is an attorney who is determined to rid the streets of pimps and drug dealers. His girlfriend runs a program where she tries to convince steet hookers to get off the street. Their efforts to change things, run afoul of Willie Dynamite’s efforts to make a ton of cash, off all that ass.

Bucktown (1975) as Roy: After Duke clashes with a corps of crooked cops while trying to open his dead brother’s night club, he calls his old friend Roy and asks him to round up some the gang and bring them to town. There’s a war going on, and Duke doesn’t intend to lose it.

Friday Foster (1975) as Blake Tarr: Blake Tarr is a reclusive billionaire and Friday Foster is hired to get a picture of him when he arrives for a special New Years event. When Friday shows up to get a picture of him arriving in town, he is ambushed by terrorists and a conspiracy is uncovered.

Adios Amigo (1976) as Noah: Noah is a minor character in ths Fred Williamson western about the adventures of Big Ben and Sam Spade.


Bio Links:

Great Thalmus Rasulala Retrospective on The Museum of Uncut Funk. They pay homage much better than we can do.

Thalmus Rasulala’s IMDB

Thalmus Rasulala’s Wiki