Color Me Blood Red is the third in Uncle Herschell's 'Blood Trilogy' of gore movies from the '60s. If you, like me, have seen any of Herschell Gordon Lewis' interviews, then you'll know that he's pretty much like your uncle. Where was I?
So Color Me Blood Red is basically Lewis's riff on Corman's A Bucket of Blood, and, God should strike me dead for saying this about Uncle Hersh, but he's gone, R.I.P., so I feel I can say that it ain't that good, not that any H.G. Lewis movie could be termed 'good', but this one mashes the humor, horror, and footage-wasting tendencies of Lewis in all the wrong ways.
We're treated to the story of misunderstood Artist Adam Sorg, (Gordon Oas-Heim, credited as Don Joseph) a dude who's successful and sells well, but wants something more. The critics say he's a hack, and Sorg agrees, finding that selling well doesn't satisfy his need for respect. Luckily, he stumbles upon the fact that using actual blood in his paintings makes his work feel legitimate. Ironically, it also makes it that much more commercially viable. (Let me tell you, all artists should have such a problem.)
At this point, expectations lean towards Sorg repeatedly killing and fondling guts, but Lewis digs into comedy as much as horror, with a group of well-to-do teen partiers becoming the focus. In keeping with Lewis' style, pacing still lumbers, but when a hip chick yelps "Holy bananas, It's a girl's leg!" you know for certain you're supposed to laugh. Unfortunately, Lewis tends to stretch 45-minutes worth of goods into feature length, so both the laughs and the gore are few and far between, while scenes of people walking slowly take up the slack.
Color Me Blood Red features a Larry Hagman (I Dream of Jeanie) styled performance from lead Oas-Heim, and oddly believable and naturalistic turns from the group of teens, something surely never-before (nor after) seen in an H.G. Lewis movie. Sadly, the rest is pretty much par for H.G. Lewis' course, leaden pacing, unimaginative camerawork, and, unusually, not a ton of gore, which has been supplanted by hit-or-miss humor. Despite the usual bang-up job from Arrow Video, this release is for hardcore fans only. Recommended.
Reversible Cover Art, English SDH subtitles, and a Promo Gallery of trailers are available, as well as a bevvy of other tidbits. A 5-minute visual essay called The Art of Madness explores the theme of the 'mad artist' in movies, while Weirdsville gives Jeffrey Sconce 10 minutes to discuss Something Weird. Outtakes from Color Me Blood Red scroll by for another 10 minutes, while another short subject, A Hot Night at the Go Go Lounge! is included, believed to be directed by Lewis. Lastly, you get Lewis talking about his 1966 Children's Musical for a couple of minutes. Good stuff for the Lewis fan.