Color Me Blood Red
|Color Me Blood Red|
|Directed by||Herschell Gordon Lewis|
|Produced by||David F. Friedman|
|Written by||Herschell Gordon Lewis|
|Starring||Gordon Oas-Heim (as Don Joseph)
Pat Lee (as Patricia Lee)
|Cinematography||Herschell Gordon Lewis (as Herschell G. Lewis)|
|Edited by||Robert L. Sinise (as Robert Sinise)|
Box Office Spectaculars
|Distributed by||Box Office Spectaculars|
|October 13, 1965|
Color Me Blood Red is a 1965 splatter film written and directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis about a psychotic painter who murders civilians and uses their blood as red paint. It is the third part of what the director's fans have dubbed "The Blood Trilogy", including Blood Feast (1963) and Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964).
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At the Farnsworth Galleries, Farnsworth looks at a painting then takes it outside. He drops it to the ground, saturates it with gasoline and sets it afire. Blood pours out of the canvas as it burns.
Artist Adam Sorge stands before a blank canvas, paints it a bit, and angrily throws it aside. He selects another canvas, and places it on the easel, but is upset because he cannot get the right color. Gigi, Adam's live-in girlfriend and model, enters the room and Adam accidentally hits her with his paintbrush. Gigi tells Adam that he is due at the Farnsworth Galleries in one hour and critics will be there. Adam arrives at his showing where an art critic, named Gregorovich, is talking with Farnsworth. Gregorovich tells that due to his less-than-impressive use of color, he is an "artist imposter". Adam argues with the critic and leaves, passing Mrs. Carter who admires Adam's past work that is on display.
The next day, Farnsworth goes to Adam's house to pick up a new painting. He tells Adam that he feels the same way as Gregorovich about Adam's use of color. Farnsworth takes another painting and leaves, and Adam beats a painting, leaving the broken frame on the floor. Adam and Gigi then spend some intimate time in the bedroom and afterwards, Gigi bends over to pick up the destroyed painting and cuts her finger on a nail. Adam later sees the smeared blood on the canvas and checks it outside with the other paintings. Gigi comes into the room and apologies about the blood, when Adam picks up a rough sketch of a woman and places it on the easel. He asks Gigi to open the wound and he cuts her finger with a razor and "paints" by smearing her blood on the canvas. Gigi pulls her finger away and tells him to use his own blood. Adam cuts all of his fingers and paints with his blood until he is weak and collapses on the couch.
After resting for a while, Adam looks at his painting. Gigi talks about how he phoned Farnsworth and told him that he had something big, and she wonders where he is going to get the blood to finish the painting. Suddenly, Adam stabs Gigi on the side of her face and uses her bloody head as a brush to finish the painting. Adam buries Gigi's body in the sand hear his house and the next day, he takes the finished painting to the gallery to show everyone. Gregotovich declares it Adam's "finest." Mrs. Carter is there and agrees to Farnsworth's high price of $15,000 to purchase the painting. But Adam tells them that the painting is not for sale. Gregotovich challenges Adam to paint another masterpiece and Adam agrees.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Carter is talking with her daughter April, who is going on a picnic with her boyfriend Rolf, and two other friends, Jack and Sydney. At Adam's house, he prepares to cut his fingers again to paint a new painting, when he sees April and her friends on the beach near his house. Adam goes out to spy on them and wait to jump on them so he can kill them and use their blood, but he gets diverted when he sees another couple, named Norman and Betsy, nearby kissing each other on a beach towel. Betsy wants to ride two water bikes that are in the water near Adam's house. As they are doing so, Adam approaches them in a motorboat where he attacks and stabs Norman in the chest with a spear killing him as Betsy screams. Adam subdues her and takes her away. Later, Adam is seen painting a new canvas with blood. He goes into the next room where the dead Betsy is tied to a wall with her intestines and innards hanging out of her stomach. Adam squeezes more blood out of the disemboweled girl and finishes his painting. He takes it the following day to the gallery and again refuses to sell it. Adam storms out of the gallery, and Gregorovich notes that the painting is still wet and that Adam forgot to varnish it.
A few weeks later, Adam is beside himself in his house, more or less a recluse. Mrs. Carter is at her home also wondering why she hasn't heard from Adam for this whole time. April then goes out with Rolf and their two friends again for another beach party. Adam watches them from a distance. When April ventures near Adam's house, Adam takes a canvas outside and pretends to be painting. Adam tells the curious April that he is looking for a model and he asks her to pose. After he tells April his name, she tells him that her mother is Mrs. Carter who wants to buy some of his paintings. Adam tells April that if she poses for him, she can have the painting for free. April returns to her friends near the beach and tells them about meeting Adam and she will be going back later in the evening.
That evening, Adam lets April into his house where she notes blood-like paint in his picture, and after she makes a joke about putting blood into the work, Adam explodes at her and says that the joke is not funny to him. April wants to leave, but Adam convinces her to stay, and has her stand on a small stepladder. In order to keep her hands still, Adam ties up April's wrists and restrains her.
Meanwhile, Jack and Sydney go looking for some firewood for a fire they make on the beach. Sydney finds Gigi's badly decomposed, half-buried corpse and screams for Jack. They show the body to Rolf who runs towards Adam's house with a flashlight. In the house, Adam tells April to turn away from him for a few seconds and he will be done... as he lifts up a large axe to kill her. Rolf runs inside where he acts rudely towards Adam. Seeing the axe Adam has, Rolf grabs a nearby shotgun and points it at Adam, keeping him at bay as he unties April. But Adam knocks the shotgun out of Rolf's hands and talks about how he "immortalizes" Gigi by keeping her alive in his painting and using peoples blood to "immortalize" them as well. When Jack and Sydney run into the house and momentarily distract Adam, Rolf grabs the shotgun. Adam lifts his axe to kill Rolf when he fires, hitting the deranged artist in the face. Adam stumbles and falls dead with his bloodied face on a blank canvas.
The final scene picks up where the opening scene left off where Farnsworth is burning Adam's painting after it is made public about the insane artist using peoples blood for his paintings. Gregorovich arrives just as Farnsworth stands looking at the burning canvas where he tells the critic that he is burning Adam's "funeral pyre".
- 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
During the making of Color Me Blood Red, Lewis and Friedman considered making a fourth "Blood" film to be titled Suburban Roulette. Friedman felt that the "super blood and gore" film market was nearing the saturation point, and decided stop working in the series.
Filmed in the early months of 1964 in and around Sarasota, Florida, it was not released until October 1965 due to the Lewis and Freidman production splitup as well as legal issues over copyright.
It was first released on VHS by Continental Video in the 1980s. It later received another home video release by the Seattle-based Something Weird Video on VHS and later DVD-Rom in the late 1990s.
Allmovie called the film dull and lacking in comparison to Lewis' two previous efforts; "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."
- James Ursini; Alain Silver (2000). "A Bloody New Wave in the United States". Horror Film Reader. New York: Limelight Editions. pp. 63–64. ISBN 0-87910-297-7.
- Fred Beldin. "Color Me Blood Red (1964)". Allmovie. Retrieved 1 July 2012.