The Horror Honeys: 'Color of Night': Love Can Be Murder... But Not As Murdery as Murder.

'Color of Night': Love Can Be Murder... But Not As Murdery as Murder.

A Revenge Honey Erotic Thriller November Review with Linnie

Color of Night (1994)

Since I've dedicated an entire month to the erotic thriller, you've probably guessed that I am a pretty big fan of the genre. Having watched more than my fair (or probably, intelligent) share, some are going to be duds. Movies like Palmetto or Disclosure stand out in my mind as particularly disappointing and/or annoying. That being said, sometimes you just love a terrible movie for no logical reason. You know it's awful. Hell, it may even be fairly offensive. And yet... you can't help but have a soft spot for it.

For me, that movie is Richard Rush's Color of Night. Yes, I know it sucks. But stuff your judgment.


Mild spoilers ahead, creepers. I will try to keep it vague.

The Story: Psychiatrist Bill Cappa (Willis) has just watched a patient jump to her death in front of his eyes (which leaves him colorblind... for some reason). To try and move past the incident, he heads out to Los Angeles to stay with his colleague, Bob Moore (Scott Bakula), who ends up murdered. The suspect is one of the patients in Bob's group therapy, and the police expect Bill to figure out who it is. While he's trying to suss out the killer, he begins an affair with a mysterious young woman named Rose (Jane March), who may be a lot more unique than she seems. Who is the killer? And will Bill be next?

I wanna be on him.
The first time I watched Color of Night, I was way too fucking young to understand it. I just knew I was twelve-years-old and whatever I was watching was giving me the feeeeeels. About fifteen years later, I watched the movie as for a class in graduate school, analyzing it as a Silence of the Lambs-era representation of transgenderism and whether or not it was negatively effecting the community. My answer then... Maybe? Like Silence of the Lambs' Buffalo Bill, the transgender character in Color of Night isn't actually transgender at all. Their gender identity isn't the issue, but instead the focus is on their psychological state. So like Silence of the Lambs, you're left giving the film a bit of a pass for skirting a complicated issue by not really dealing with it at all.

Many a graduate school hour spent analyzing this character...
But, if you aren't an overly analytical sort, Color of Night is just a stylish, sexy, insanely silly erotic thriller that couldn't be more 90s if it had actively framed itself as an artifact of the decade. The sex scenes between Bruce Willis and Jane March are relentless, in the best possible way. Just when you think you're finally getting a reprieve, BLAMMO, someone is naked again. If you prefer your erotic thrillers further on the side of erotic, then you can't really find fault with Color of Night.

It's Brad Dourif! COME ON!
However, the most interesting thing about Color of Night is the cast, especially if you're a horror fan. Bob's therapy group is made up of Brad Dourif, Lance Henriksen, and Kevin J. O'Connor (who's name you may not know, but trust me... He's a fabulous character actor). Also in the group is Leslie Ann Warren, one of the most gorgeous and perfect women ever. Bruce Willis is also at his 90s best; charismatic, sexy, and not yet bald. His chemistry with Jane March is fairly on point, which is nice given that March isn't the best actress in the world (I'm being delicate here... This was only her second movie, and she was a model, not an actress).

I like Bruce with hair. NO SHAME!
Color of Night is pretty ridiculous. The plot is convoluted and the "twist" isn't all that surprising, so it will probably annoy you. But the process of getting there is fun, and it's not remotely the worst erotic thriller we're going to cover this month.

Throughout Erotic Thriller month, we are going to be working on a far more stringent rating scale than usual. That means that if I REALLY like a film, it will probably get a three star rating. If I love a film, four stars. If I want to take a movie behind the middle school and get it pregnant, that's a five star rating right there. So with that in mind, Color of Night gets:

Erotic Thriller Rating: 3 dropped panties out of 5

Color of Night is available via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube VOD, Vudu,
Google Play, & DVD

What do YOU think of Color of Night?
Tell me on Twitter: @linnieloowho