Hey there folks! I’m back and so are my photos. So I thought today and get right back into things with a new movie review. Today we are looking at the 1994 erotic mystery thriller Color of Night starring Bruce Willis and the delectable Jane March. So hang onto your draws folks. We are in for a ride!
As I mentioned above, the Color of Night stars Jane March and Bruce Willis (in what must be his most erotic movie ever made). It also stars Lance Henriksen (from Aliens and the hit TV show Millenium), Lesley Ann Warren (Clue) as well as Brad Dourif and Scott Bakula. It was directed by Richard Rush (who also directed 1980s hit Stunt Man). Despite the hype pre-release, Color of Night was a gigantic flop and has the honour of winning the Golden Raspberry Award for the worst film of the year at the 1994 awards ceremony. Much was made about the gratuitous nature of the sex scenes in this movie, which were quite a shock to many a Bruce Willis fan. That’s right, not only Jane March but Bruce Willis also had scenes of full frontal nudity.
So why am I reviewing it? Well, despite it being a box office flop, Color of Night was one of the top twenty most rented films in 1995. It was also singled out by Maxim as having the best sex scene in the HISTORY of cinema. The scenes of a sexual nature were so intense that the lead actress Jane March has frequently stated she was not comfortable with them and had to be convinced by the director to film them. There is also hearsay that Bruce Willis required a body double in one such scene, an underwater sex scene, because the director felt that Brucie’s member was “too small”. However, it should be noted that I have not been able to or wish to verify this fact but thank IMDb all the same for the trivia.
So the next thing I should probably talk about is the story. Yes, believe it or not, there is a story.
Dr. Bill Capa (Willis) is a New York City psychologist who falls into a deep depression after an unstable patient commits suicide in front of him by jumping from his office window. The sight of the bloody body of his patient clad in a bright green dress causes Capa to develoo psychosomatic color blindness, taking away his ability to see the color red.
To restart his life, Capa travels to Los Angeles to stay with a friend, fellow therapist and best-selling author Dr. Bob Moore (Bakula), who invites him to sit in on a group therapy session. But one night Moore is violently murdered in the office and Capa is plunged into the mystery of his friend’s death.
Moore would gather his patients every Monday for a discussion of their problems. The police consider them, and possibly Capa, as suspects in the murder. Capa continues to live in Moore’s house where he meets and begins an affair with Rose (March), a mysterious girl who enters his life. he also decides to take over Moore’s therapy group and learns of their pasts and obsessions as the murder investigation takes place.
This movie is an intriguing one. For starters it’s not the world’s greatest film and neither does it shy away from the fact that while it is a mystery and a thriller, there is heavy emphasis on sex. Indeed, Jane March was hired for this role because of her willingness to do nude scenes in her previous work. Needless to say this came back to haunt her later in her career having only acted in 17 motion pictures since her role in this movie. Amazingly though, she is now only 43 years old which means she was 21 when she starred in this movie, while Bruce Willis was 39. Cradle Snatcher! Indeed, the fact that she was young and beautiful was one of the chief marketing ploys for this movie, along with, of course, a number of female fans also having an interest due to Bruce Willis’s exposure. Literally.
Surprisingly though, the movie does try hard to flex its muscles as a mystery too. Unfortunately, this often comes at a cost as early screenings came back lukewarm with a number of twists not really working as well as expected. In fact, there was such debate over how the movie flowed, the Producers and director were at odds with the producers creating their own cut of the movie against the wishes of the director. In fact, the stress got so much for the director that he suffered a heart attack. These days, it’s the director’s cut of the movie that survives with the producers’ cut considered an unmitigated disaster.
The film does offer a strong supporting cast and did have potential. It just so happened that the film was somewhat poorly executed and one could argue just didn’t live up to it. Today, it’s the sex that people remember it for. If they remember it at all. Indeed, Bruce Willis himself rarely comments on the film stating that it just “didn’t work” when asked. Willis would have to admit that this film took place during a definitely lull in his career where other flops such as Hudson Hawk and Last Man Standing hurt his reputation greatly. Luckily for him, things took a turn for the better not long after with hits including Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, Fifth Element and Die Hard with a Vengeance, at least until recently.
Overall, this movie is a bit of a bust but yet it somehow deserves at least one watch to see how bad / cheesy it is. I watched it that one and only time because I used to be a big Willis fan. You can imagine how shocked I was! For it’s time, it was porn with a story. But these days, it’s probably about average considering what we churn out!
I score this a C –