review for Color Me Blood Red on AllMovie

Color Me Blood Red (1964)
by Fred Beldin review

This companion piece to the trendsetting Blood Feast, and its stronger follow-up, 2000 Maniacs, suffers from something that's death to any exploitation feature: dullness. After essentially creating the splatter film with the first two statements, director Herschell Gordon Lewis and producer David F. Friedman fell prey to the same pitfalls that awaited a number of future gore purveyors. The recycled plot owes plenty to a number of "crazy artist" melodramas that were popular during the era (even Lewis' own The Prime Time) and the bloodletting ups no ante from the previous films. 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. The powerhouse filmmaking duo split unexpectedly during post-production and an aura of stagnation and betrayal haunts the film regardless of what the feelings of the principals might have been while making it. Lewis bounced back with many profitable and enjoyable pictures on his own for the next seven years and Friedman enjoyed an even longer run on the low-budget circuit, but this last gasp of a mighty partnership is of interest only to hardcore gorehounds who will undoubtedly thrill to the grisly artistry of both the main character as well as the men who pull the strings.