August 8, 2020

Morbid Colors (2020) – Underground Vampirism

Written and directed by Matthew Packman (Margo) and co-executive produced by stars Kara Gray (Payton’s Burden) and Lanae Hyneman, Morbid Colors is a tale of two foster sisters forced to hunt down a wealthy socialite (Cindy Maples, Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories) believed to have infected the elder sibling with vampirism.

Morbid Colors Poster

This flick has been on my radar since way back in October 2018 when director Matthew Packman reached out to me to let us know about his film. I was familiar with many of the names here based on my love of the Volumes of Blood series. I was especially excited when I saw that Cindy Maples was attached as I’m a huge fan of her and her work.

I can’t say I’m particularly a fan of vampire movies in general but I went into this one with an open mind cause I knew there were quality folks associated with the production. This is a gritty, slow burn of a film that you’ll need to invest some time into to really enjoy. We were a good 24 minutes in before it was confirmed that we were dealing with vampirism.

This is NOT your typical vampire movie – not by any stretch and that’s not necessarily a bad thing (at least it wasn’t for me). You’re not going to get a bunch of gore here and the traditional vampire tropes (mirrors, sunlight, garlic, crucifixes) are missing as well which I liked.

The sound here was ‘off’ quite a few times during the flick. I can’t tell if that was the review copy I was watching but I don’t ‘think’ so. That said, it doesn’t detract from the film except for a few minutes. As I look back through my notes from my watch I realize I had quite a few questions… some that were answered and some that weren’t. Here’s a couple that I jotted down.

  • What are these weird flashbacks from when they were kids?
  • Do you really hitchhike with your face covered with blood?
  • So the question is becoming HOW did she become a vamp?
  • She doesn’t appear to be killing people? Just a little bit of blood? Not quite a full vamp?
  • Devin gives Myca her wrist so she can feed / drink. Is she a vamp now too?
  • Why does Devin keep passing out during the worst times? Are we going to get an explanation of this or is it a convenient plot point?

I’m not going to do a full plot review, because candidly the synopsis really does a fine job of that and if this sounds like something you’re into I don’t want to spoil it for you. Both the leads Kara Gray and Lanae Hyneman do a superb job here. When you think of ‘down on their luck’ and ‘dealt a bad hand’ foster kids you’ve got these two.

Morbid Colors Still 1

I have to say I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Cindy Maples here. Not because I’m enamored with her (I am πŸ˜‰ ) but because her character was pretty integral to the story and she’s essentially absent. The ending here leaves a bit to be desired in my book but I’m a big fan of ‘tidy endings’. But here’s the thing…Β  life isn’t tidy and neither is this film and that’s actually what gives is so much charm. This is a gritty and, dare I say, realistic look at life on the run, on a mission… as a vampire.

The photography and direction here really shine. As I said before this is a gritty film and it looks that way to great affect. The direction is spot on, it’s well acted and is shot in a way that’s consistent with the story that’s being told. Sometimes shaky, sometimes smooth, sometimes jarring. If you’re a fan of a non-traditional vampire drama, invest some time to watch Morbid Colors.

  • Written & Directed By: Matthew Packman
  • Executive Producers: Kara Gray, Lanae Hyneman
  • Produced By: Jakob Bilinski, Tye Wilson
  • Edited By: Matthew Packman
  • Director of Photography: Matthew Packman
  • Music Supervisor: Lanae Hyneman
  • Original Music By: Daniel Roach
  • Story By: Matthew Packman, Kara Gray

Morbid Colors has seen its festival run essentially shut down by COVID-19. As we return to some version of ‘normal’ I hope this film and numerous others can be seen. The film, filmmaker, cast, crew and fans deserve to see it as it’s clearly a labor of love.

To learn more about Morbid Colors or check out the film for yourself check out the following links:

Special thanks to Matthew Packman for giving me access to his film for review!

Chewie

Chewie

I've been a fan of horror and slasher movies for as long as I can remember. I consider the original Halloween to be the best horror movie of all time and my guilty pleasure horror flick would be The Exorcist III. You can find me on Twitter at @406Northlane where I'm sure I'll offend you at least once a day.

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