I had no idea this H. P. Lovecraft adaptation even existed until yesterday, but I’m grateful for the discovery. It’s one of the finest versions of an HPL tale, and since that tale is also my personal favorite of the Old Man’s work, it adds to the thrill.
This is a low-budget German film titled Die Farbe (“The Color”) based on “The Colour Out of Space.” I don’t know why the official English title dropped Lovecraft’s purposeful use of the U.K. spelling “Colour.” Lovecraft was such a severe Anglophile that it seems strange to change the title, but perhaps the Germans didn’t understand what a difference that one letter makes to Anglophones.
Like the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society films The Call of Cthulhu and The Whisperer in Darkness, this is a black-and-white film with a distinctly retro feeling, although it isn’t specifically attempting to imitate a 1920s or ’30s style of filmmaking. The choice to shoot in black-and-white ends up paying off immensely, because “the colour” can genuinely seem like an alien color when it is the only color that ever appears on screen.
The between-wars Germany setting works well; the filmmakers manage to capture the sense of HPL’s rural New England through rural Southeastern Germany (specifically the Swabian-Franconian Forest). Most of Lovecraft’s story remains intact, with a few variants, such as the reason the protagonist goes to investigate in the first place, and an odd coda. The budget causes some problems, such as some very wonky blue screen effects during the first five minutes that might unfortunately turn some viewers off regarding the quality of the rest of the movie. There’s also a German actor who is supposed to be playing a character from the U.S., but his few scenes in English have him speaking with a thick German accent. But what the filmmakers achieve with what they have is often stunning, and the movie manages to capture some of the most terrifying moments of the story in skin-crawling fashion.