Color me blood red is the final piece of what is now known as the ‘Blood Trilogy’.
The plot is excruciatingly simple. Struggling artist Adam Sorg is getting panned by critics and wife alike. His inspiration is all but dissipated, that is until his wife stands on a nail and drips blood all over his canvas giving him the perfect red colour for his palette. After completing a masterpiece using his own blood he soon discovers that it is not going to be viable to continue in this way and then works on getting fresh ‘paint’ to keep his artwork flowing.
As you may have guessed the plot element of this movie isn’t really that strong. I mean the mans an arse to begin with and when you consider the fact that there is only about 10 people in the film, half of which go missing about the time he starts painting blood coloured grisly art, its hard to believe no one would suspect him. Still realism isn’t really the call of the day and as with Lewis’ other works its all about the murders.
He is considered the godfather of gore and even in 1965 (and before) he begins to flourish. Whilst ‘Colour me blood red’ is no where close to his goriest film you can see the beginnings of the sickness. Despite what is to come, CMBR is actually pretty tame, and only one scene is actually gory - a rather fake looking disembowelling, but you can appreciate the sentiment. It’s clearly on a low budget and if I am honest the blood actually looks more like red paint than blood! An irony of sorts.
As the gore is not great there is a definite strain on the other departments of the film. The acting is pretty shit, as is to be expected, and the script is pretty basic at best, and some scenes I’m pretty sure were improvised. Despite this the film remains fairly enjoyable throughout owing to the quirkiness of subject matter, some pretty amusing and eccentric characters and the sexist attitudes of the time.
Overall, as a film ‘Color Me Blood Red’ is pretty bollocks, yet there is just something about Lewis’ works which prevent me from being frustrated towards it. I guess it’s that it never tries to be more than it is and so it’s difficult to be too harsh; that said the one watch is more than enough. Basically, if you like Lewis’ works give it a watch; if you are not, or have never heard of Herschel G. Lewis then you will probably hate this movie.