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September 26, 2010

Movie Review: Color Me Blood Red (1965)

by David Hayes

This is one of the famed "Blood Trilogy" by Herschell Gordon Lewis. The other films in the trilogy (Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs) are a littler gorier and a little better done than this entry. Color details the
artist-y and neurotic-y life of one Mr. Adam Sorg, played by the ugliest man in Hollywood, Don Joseph, who is chastised by a local art critic, Gregorovich, for not having a sense of color. Now, this art critic is obviously worldly and intelligent, due to the prominent beret and long cigarette holder. The gallery that Sorg shows his paintings in is obviously austere and culture-defining because they use mismatched folding chairs to seat their patrons. To boil it down, Sorg is quite upset by his lack of acceptance and runs home to his HIDDEN HOME ON THE BEACH (sorry, but I am possessed by the Gods to capitalize plot devices) and his caustic live-in girlfriend. Blah, blah, blah Sorg cuts his finger and realizes that the color that he needed to be set apart and accepted in the art world is blood. Pay no mention to the fact that blood dries a maroon like color and Lewis blood dries a bright, brothel red. After Sorg drains himself of enough blood to paint an entire picture (and enough to kill a horse) his painting is accepted as genius by the worldly critic and the incredibly trendy gallery. But after that, what to do? The only sensible thing is to kill your wise-mouthed girlfriend (and after sex with Don Joseph, she probably asked for it) and paint another picture. Well, Mr. Sorg is off and running, but his materials are running low. What now? Of course, there are always teenagers making out on your HIDDEN PRIVATE BEACH, so the answer presents itself handily. He paints some more, he gets caught and he is killed. A copy of the film is sent to the Academy for Oscar consideration and the world is a better place.

Buy Color Me Blood Red or The Blood Trilogy on DVD

The first thing that I want to know is why would anyone steal the plotline from Roger Corman's Bucket of Blood? The second thing I want to know is, why does Lewis continue to hire Don Joseph? He looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid with severe acne. And finally, why did anyone make this film? The tagline is appropriate. The posters that Lewis printed for the "theatrical release" (all four days of it) say, "Fiendish is the word for it!" and I wholeheartedly agree. This movie is fiendish! In a bright spot, Iris Marshall plays a wonderful piece of cardboard interested in Sorg's paintings. Her characterization rings true, I actually believed her to be corrugated. Snubbed once again by the People's Choice awards, Lewis went on to hire Don Joseph again. Luckily for the world, Don Joseph's romantic ingénue days ended by 1970. Ironically, his sex appeal came to a halt when free love was in full swing.

Note: If you want to watch the entire movie, just press play below.

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