Die Farbe (The Color)

Actors: Paul Dorsch, Jürgen Heimüller and Ingo Heise
Format: DVD (PAL 16:9) NTSC, Blu-ray (HD 720p 50fps)
Language: German (some scenes in English), 5.1 or stereo
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1
Studio: Sphärentor
Release Date: 30 October 2010
Run Time: 85 min, 43 min Bonus material





Die Farbe isn't the first attempt to take Lovecraft's classic sci-fi / horror story The Color out of Space (1927) to the movies but the most recent and by far the most faithful one. It doesn't come with a big budget or (in)famous names like Boris Karloff (in Die, Monster, Die! from 1965) or Will Wheaton (in The Curse from 1987), but with a lot of dedication and imagination, following the original story faithfully for the very first time.

It's a rather minor tale in the vast Lovecraft cosmos and doesn't feature any unpronounceable aliens or monster-slaying cats. The star of the story is a nameless meteorite crashing somewhere in the backwoods and slowly anti-terraforming its surroundings by poisoning the earth with scary transformations, crawling madness and agonizing death as the final result.

Shot in (almost) black & white this low-budget production can't depict the horrible changes that are slowly taking place; therefore it concentrates on the mood and atmosphere of the original story: the time it takes for the involved characters to figure out that something is terribly wrong, until the moment when they finally realize, that it's already too late.

The graphic horror is mostly imagined or off-screen, which is pretty much in line with Lovecraft’s intensions, who never really handed out blueprints for gory horror or splatter movies. He'd probably rise from the grave without the need for a Reanimator if he only knew the movies that carry his name. Die Farbe might well be the rare exception he would rather enjoy.

The otherworldly effects of the movies rely heavily on CGI, rendering the color entity as pink-violet bubbles, which ain't exactly Hollywood standard, but works most of the time, while the green screen effects at the beginning rival those of the first season of Sanctuary, but not in a good way. This is where the budget limitations really show. I'd really love to see what these guys can pull off on a real budget and I hope someone gives them the chance to do so.

THE DISC: Available as Blu-Ray or DVD in German language, but with subtitles available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Danish and German.

Bonus material covers the usual trailers and teasers, a quite interesting production diary, and short artwork, concept, effects featurettes, including everything you always wanted to know about parasites and toxoplasma, my personal favorite. Some featurettes suffer from bad audio quality though.

WORTH IT? It’s the best adaption of a great Lovecraft story so far and well done on a shoestring budget of around 28.000 Euros.

RECOMMENDATION: A must have for every Lovecraft fan. You can buy it here.

- Michael Junck



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