Different Shades – The Blood Drinkers (1964)

The one thing that Kulay Dugo ang Gabi, otherwise known as The Blood Drinkers is famous for, is the way that colour is used throughout the film.  Sometimes the picture would be shot in full colour, but for the most part it would be filmed with either a red or blue lens and that really just came down to budget as colour was so expensive.  In a novel approach, the change in colour was even worked into the story so that viewers would be unaware it was because of a lack of funds.  Where most films would just expect the movie-goer to figure out why the palette would turn from one hue to the next, and here while it does not exactly spell it out, it is remarked upon and you understand why the choices were made.

theblooddrinkersDue to the ever-changing look of the film, the atmosphere always felt eerie and gave you a sense of uneasiness throughout most of the movie.  There was nothing exceptionally frightening about the picture, but the suspense would often build as the lens of the camera changed, always making you wonder what would come next.  This would head into the film’s biggest weakness for though it was suspenseful more often than not, its pacing was absolutely turgid at times, making the film seem much longer than it was.  Thirty minutes could have been removed from the picture and it would not have lessened the story or the impact it was going for.

theblooddrinkers2If one could not guess by the title of the movie, it is indeed about vampires and more specifically, one vampire’s quest to return his beloved to life.  The problem that stands in his way is that he needs the heart of his lover’s twin sister who just so happens to still be alive.  Thus it is that we see this vampire do what he must by killing some people, turning others and exerting force where necessary.

The special effects were expectedly cheap as using colour in the film ate up most of the budget.  The story and script were half-decent, the direction fairly solid and the acting making up for most of what faults might lie within.  Still, despite the way the film does tend to drag on at points, it is worth a glance if only for the innovative way that colour is used in the making of it.

3 out of 5
Kulay Dugo ang Gabi- 1964

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