Friday, March 4, 2016

Color Me Blood Red - Bleeding For Your Art

Color Me Blood Red
H.G. Lewis
Unrated - Approx 79 Min.
Released October 13, 1965

 - Not for the eyes and ears of anyone under 16 years!
 - A Blood-Splattered Study in the Macabre
 - Drenched in Crimson Color
 - Fiendish is the word for it!

 - A Blood-Splattered Study in the Macabre. It Will Leave You AGHAST!

Alternate Titles:
Color Me Red  - Working Title
Model Massacre - Alternate Title

"Holy Bananas! It's a girls leg!!!!!"
                                                 - Jack

Once again, I find myself in highly nostalgic territory.  Color Me Blood Red is another film that haunted my youth in the form of lurid VHS cover art that lined the aisles of my beloved Video Paradise.  Just looking at the image of the VHS box art brings back the smell of must and popcorn that permeated that small mom & pop store and my heart swells.  When I was but knee high to a cacti, I found this particular tape to be highly disturbing.  The girl, chained to the wall with her innards being drained into a bowl gave me nightmares on more than one occasion and the film built itself up into near legendary status in my young mind.

Unfortunately the store's copy of the tape went missing (or broke) before I started working there in high school, and I missed my chance to watch it.  Fast forward twenty or so years and I'm standing in my vast cinema dungeon looking for something to watch while I whittle away the late evening hours.  My eyes fall upon the Something Weird issued DVD of the film and I realize that I've owned the movie for several years and never watched it.  Such is the way of the Midnight Cinephile.  So many films, so little time.

With a stiff cocktail in hand and a bowl of mixed nuts (though I'd kill for a giant plate of pizza rolls, I'm eating healthier these days) I settle in to my reclining throne and let the crimson goodness wash over me.  I found myself giddy with anticipation as the film started.  Thirty years of buildup to near mythic status was surely going to come crashing down and disappoint me, right?, actually.

Having seen H.G. Lewis' other films in advance I had a good idea what I was in for and I've got to tell you that I was not disappointed in the least.  Wonky acting?  Check.  Melted crayon blood?  Check.  Hilariously bonkers dialog?  Check!  What the hell else do you want?

I suppose you could look at Color Me Blood Red as a loose remake of the 1959 cult schlocker A Bucket of Blood, exchanging plaster covered corpses for paintings soaked in the blood of a crazed artist's hapless victims.

Artist Adam Sorg finds himself in a bit of a slump and after accidentally getting blood on one of his paintings in progress, he realizes that the blood is exactly what the painting needs.  He starts slicing his fingers open with a razor blade and feverishly painting with the exsanguinated plasma until his fingers pretty much run dry.  The next day as his girlfriend nags him about how he's going to finish the painting without bleeding himself dry, he stabs her in the face and uses her blood to finish his painting.  Well that escalated quickly!

After a local critic and patron at the Farnsworth Art Gallery swoon over his completed gory masterpiece, it's not long at all before Adam is slaughtering beach-goers outside his beach house.  The second girl he murders is actually the one so prominently featured on the VHS cover.  The scene is actually fairly hilarious as Adam runs out of blood, goes into the next room and "milks" her entrails like an udder to get more blood!

Color Me Blood Red is the final film in Lewis' Blood Trilogy and it is decidedly lighter on gore than Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs, I think.....but the gore that's there is top notch melted crayon style that I find particularly pleasing to the eye.

So, did it reach the mythic status that I had it built up to?  Hell no, but it was still a hell of a good time and I'm glad that I finally got to see it.  I think I may have to watch the Blood Trilogy in a mini marathon sometime soon.

There's a fair amount of the red stuff.  As mentioned already, not as much as the other two Blood flicks, but still a good amount.  That melted crayon grue never gets old for me!

No nudity here, friends, but we are treated to several buxom sixties babes in their bathing suits!

One blood crazed artist!

There's a lot to love on this one:  Bright, colorful cinematography, wonky characters and some really bonkers dialog make this a fun, quick flick.  If you're into H.G. Lewis, then definitely check this one out.....since it's short, you should just watch it with the other two Blood films!

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