COLOR ME BLOOD RED (1965)
Article #1122 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-10-2004
Posting Date: 9-7-2004
Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
Featuring Gordon Oas-Heim, Candi Conder, Elyn Warner
In order to win critical acclaim, an artist tries to find just the right shade of red for his paintings. He discovers that blood provides that shade of red.
After watching the movie, I caught the trailer for this Herschell Gordon Lewis gorefest, and discovered that it used the “It’s only a movie” catchphrase seven years before it was adopted for LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. Still, I don’t think audiences ever had to worry about this one. the poor set designs, rotten sound quality and occasional horrible acting all combine to perpetually remind you that you are indeed watching a movie rather than experiencing a real life horror.
On the other hand, either I’ve just gotten used to Lewis’s directing style or this movie is a somewhat better than BLOOD FEAST or GRUESOME TWOSOME. He doesn’t seem quite as obsessed here with just throwing blood and gore on the screen; he actually seems somewhat interested in the way the plot unfolds. Furthermore, the acting is generally better than in those other movies (on the average, that is; there are still some very bad moments) and he actually seems to be making some focused satirical statements; when the artist turns to the critic and says “I hope you’re satisfied.” at one point, the irony actually has an impact. Furthermore, Lewis does have a sense of humor, and even if he doesn’t work it very well, he still managed to get a laugh out of me at one point (the last line). It’s still not what I would call a good movie, and he still tries to disgust from time to time, but the movie proved to be less unwatchable than his other fare. Still, I myself can’t help but appreciate the irony that whereas Lewis added gore to his movies to make them more commercially viable, the artist in the movie engages in bloody murder in order to be gain critical acceptance. There may have been more to Lewis than meets the eye after all.