Color Me Blood Red – USA, 1964

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‘Even Van Gogh would lend an ear’

Color Me Blood Red is a 1964 American horror feature film written and directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis (The Gore Gore Girls; Two Thousand Maniacs!; Blood Feast; et al) about a deranged painter who murders his victims to use their blood as red paint. It is an uncredited take on themes from Charles B. Griffith and Roger Corman’s A Bucket of Blood (1959).

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The film is the third part of what has been termed “The Blood Trilogy”, having been preceded by Blood Feast (1963) and Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964). David F. Friedman was again the producer.

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Lensed in the early months of 1964, it was not released until October 1965 due to the Lewis and Freidman production split-up as well as legal issues over copyright. Prior to the film’s release, a novelization by Lewis was published.

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On the opening night of his one-man show at the Farnsworth Galleries, obsessive artist Adam Sorg is panned by a well-known art critic for having no sense of good colour. Sorg is initially incensed but also haughtily and defiantly amused.

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Next day, when his live-in girlfriend model accidentally cuts herself he finds the new colour he has been seeking: blood red! He tries using his own blood to paint but is soon weak. Sorg begins to kill local teenagers for their blood so he can continue his newfound artistic passion…

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Reviews:

Color Me Blood Red is tamer than most of Lewis’s other splatter films (relatively speaking) – not as many killings and everything taking place within the constraints of a plot. The downside of this is that the film’s relatively short 74-minute running time is padded out with numerous filler scenes with the teens running around the beach. There is also a frenetic lounge bar muzak score run over everything.” Richard Scheib, Moria

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“The actors are sub-competent, but not on the excessive, hammy, stagebound level of their predecessors. In fact, very little distinguishes Color Me Blood Red from its parent productions except a lack of enthusiasm, brashness, and irreverence, something that can’t be said for the remainder of Lewis’ oeuvre.” Fred Beldin, AllMovie.com

It’ll leave you aghast! cried the one-sheet ad for Color Me Blood Red, and maybe in 1965 it did. But, by today’s and Herschell Gordon Lewis’ standards, this film (my favorite among the Lewis titles) is really very tame. Producing only one truly sickening gore sequence, it was obvious that Lewis needed a new niche.” Christopher Wayne Curry, A Taste of Blood: The Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis

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Color Me Blood Red features a manic lead performance from Gordon Oas-Heim and a beach setting that is somehow incredibly depressing. A strange film in that there’s nothing particularly good about it, yet it completely engrosses me with each viewing. This one isn’t especially praised by fans, so maybe save it for later.” Dave Jackson, Mondo Exploito

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“The acting, of course, is horrible … Some of the FX are also laughable by today’s standards, but to fully respect a movie like this you have to go back to the 60’s this was new and fresh. Without directors like Herschell Gordon Lewis there certainly wouldn’t be an Eli Roth (sorry new school fans) or a Sam Raimi. Color Me Blood Red is a fun trip to the past though and it comes highly recommended…” Killion, HorrorNews.net

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“… the funniest and least gory of the Blood Trilogy (there are a few gore scenes but only one is extreme). Overall, Color Me Blood Red is inferior to its predecessors on every level except humor, but I really liked it. It has an exuberant (if canned)60s jazz soundtrack. Other 60s camp comes from the copious shots of big cars, puffy hairdos and slang-speaking teens having fun in the sun. There’s even an element of the Beach Party movie here…” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

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Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Arrow Video presents fourteen of the Godfather of Gore’s most essential films (including nine Blu-ray world debuts), collected together in a Limited Edition set (only 2,500 in the U.S.) that’s packed full of eye-popping bonus content. So put your feet up, pour yourself a glass of good ol moonshine, and prepare yourself for a feast H.G. Lewis style!

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  • Fourteen of the Godfather of Gore’s finest attractions, newly restored from original and best surviving vault materials: Blood Feast, Scum of the Earth, Two Thousand Maniacs!, Moonshine Mountain, Color Me Blood Red, Something Weird, The Gruesome Twosome, A Taste of Blood, She-Devils on Wheels, Just for the Hell of It, How to Make a Doll, The Wizard of Gore, The Gore Gore Girls, This Stuff ‘ll Kill Ya!
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the features and extras on 7 Blu-ray and 7 DVD discs
  • Brand new introductions to the films by Lewis
  • Hours of extras including newly-produced interviews and featurettes, commentaries, short films and much more
  • Additional 2 bonus Blu-rays featuring 1.33:1 versions of Blood Feast, Scum of the Earth, Color Me Blood Red, A Taste of Blood and The Wizard of Gore [limited editions exclusive]
  • Additional bonus DVD: Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore documentary [limited editions exclusive]
  • 28-page H.G. Lewis annual stuffed full with Lewis-themed activities plus archive promotional material [limited editions exclusive]
  • Newly illustrated packaging by The Twins of Evil [Feast edition exclusive]

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Choice dialogue:

Gigi: “You know if we get married, the first thing I’d do is… get a divorce!”

Adam Sorg: “F stands for… Farnsworth!”

Female teenager: “Like, I dig. Dig!”

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Art critic: “I think, I would not like to be that man’s psychoanalyst.”

Jack: “Holy bananas! It’s a girl’s leg!”

Rolf: “Listen, pal, you’d be rude, too, if you saw your girl tied up, and a man with an axe in one hand and a bloody mess in the other. And a corpse outside there on the beach!”

Cast and characters:

  • Gordon Oas-Heim as Adam Sorg
  • Candi Conder as April Carter
  • Elyn Warner as Gigi
  • Pat Finn-Lee as Patricia Lee
  • Jerome Eden as Rolf
  • Scott H. Hall as Farnsworth
  • Jim Jaekel as Jack
  • Iris Marshall as Mrs. Carter

Filming locations:

Sarasota, Florida

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