The Color of Love (1975)

THE COLOR OF LOVE (1975)
aka Lord Shango
Article 2595 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-13-2008
Posting Date: 9-20-208
Directed by Ray Marsh
Featuring Marlene Clark, Lawrence Cook, Wally Taylor
Country: USA

The baptism of the daughter of an unwed mother is interrupted by her boyfriend attempting to prevent the ceremony. In the resulting struggle, the boyfriend is drowned, though it is not sure whether it was intentional or accidental. When the daughter runs away, the mother turns her back on the church and turns to a voodoo cult to get her daughter back. But there are prices to pay…

I had the worst time coming up with a decent plot description for this movie with an all-black cast, because it was difficult to come up with one that gave a real feel for what this movie is like. Anyone going into this hoping for the usual blaxploitation horror movie will emerge frustrated and feel cheated. If, however, you go in expecting a complex, almost Lewtonian horror movie in which the lines between good and evil aren’t quite as clearly defined as they usually are, you’ll be better prepared. It’s more of a drama with subtle horror elements than a full-blown horror movie, and the movie features at least one great performance; as the drummer-turned-drinker who serves as a commentator on the action, Lawrence Cook is fascinating and complex. The movie does a fascinating job of using music to set off the traditional Christian culture with the voodoo culture, and I suspect that devout Christians will not find this one to their liking. Myself, I found it offbeat, subtle, intelligent and compelling, but it will definitely not be to everyone’s taste.

 

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