Sunday, 6 May 2012

Color Me Blood Red (1965)

What can I say about Color Me Blood Red (Herschell Gordon Lewis, 1965)? It's barely horror. It's barely watchable. It's barely even a movie. The sound is bad, the plot is bad, the acting is bad. I'm not exactly sorry that I watched this, but I am conscious that I will never get that eighty minutes of my life back.

It is readily apparent that between Color Me Blood Red and Blood Feast (1963), Herschell Gordon Lewis learned about framing, camera angles, and conventional three-part plot structure. It is apparent also that he completely forgot that no one was attending his movies to see the brilliant work of an auteur. They just wanted to see people getting chopped up, and on that front, Color Me Blood Red hasn't got the goods.

Amanda Palmer's agent just found her next album cover.
The plot (ha! ha!) revolves around sad sack painter Adam Sorg (Gordon Oas-Heim), who just can't pull off a masterpiece, probably because he is being tortured by his agent, a weird European art critic named Gregorovitch (Bill Harris), and his needy girlfriend, who inexplicably spends every second of her screen time clad in leotards of various colors. When his agent and the critic start needling him over his washed-out colors, Sorg kills two birds with one stone by stabbing his girlfriend and painting with her blood. The art world loves Sorg's new style and the artist himself, tickled pink (red?) by all the attention, spears a couple waterskiing teenagers for tempera before he's taken down by the boyfriend of new model and near-victim April (Candi Conder). If that summary didn't quite take the first time through, don't bother to read it through again. It won't make sense, not even if you watch the movie.

Color Me Blood Red makes me sad. Whence art the seedy titillations of yesteryear, Herschell? Whence thy weird Egyptian/bluegrass soundtrack stylings? Whence art the hapless victims slaughtered by mad Egyptian caterers, crushed by giant rocks, barbequed, rolled down hills in barrels hammered full of nails? Blood Feast was bad, but it wasn't boring. Color Me Blood Red is boring, and I give it a 2/5. Ah, for the Herschell films of my youth, joyously free of any pretensions towards "art" in either style or content.

What is that album cover in the corner? Looks sort of 80s, don't it? 
FINAL GIRL: This is a picture of April (Candi Conder), the stupidest Final Girl you ever heard of. Now, lots of Final Girls do stupid things like going down dark alleys alone, or throwing away their weapons too soon, or just crying and screaming too much. But only April is stupid enough to wander directly into a murderer's den, ignore all the very visible signs that the guy is unstable and unhinged, and finally remark "you're tying me up!" with perplexed wonder and no attempt to get free. She also has no personality, apart from the facts that she doesn't drink and that she wears her hair like she wandered off The Brady Bunch. April's friends are all equally brainless, but at least the one who finds a corpse and screams "HOLY BANANAS!" is entertaining. April's just dull... dull as in boring AND dull as in stupid. It almost makes you miss Connie Mason.

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