Just last night I had a pretty scary nightmare. Most people wouldn’t consider it a nightmare, but to me it was. I dreamt that I was back in college trying to find my dorm room and scared out of my mind that I wouldn’t fit in with the others on my floor. All the fears I had all those years ago going were suddenly feeling very real all over again. Compared to the nightmares the main character in today’s film has, mine are nothing. There are some sinister forces at play for sure in 1972’s All the Colors of the Dark, or as it is sometimes known: They’re Coming to Get You.
The film starts with a very bizarre dream sequence featuring a mysterious blue-eyed man with a knife and a naked pregnant woman on a delivery table…feet in the stirrups and everything. These are the dreams of Jane Harrison (Edwige Fenech). These dreams have both her and her lover Richard (George Hilton) quite upset. Richard believes that the nightmares are stemming from that fact that Jane suffered a miscarriage do to a car accident they were both in. Richard is totally against seeing a psychiatrist however, though Jane’s sister Barbara (Susan Scott aka Nieves Navarro) works for a doctor who she thinks can help.
Barbara soon agrees to see the doctor when she starts seeing the blue-eyed man when she’s not sleeping. At the same time, she also meets a new neighbor who lives downstairs named Mary (Marina Malfatti). She suggests that Jane meet with some people who had helped her out with some problems she suffered. The two head to a mysterious mansion and then we meet the other guests. They are led by a strange bearded man with long creepy fingernails (Julian Ugarte). Soon Jane’s clothes are off and they’re all drinking blood. What do you expect out a freaky cult?
Given Jane’s unstable mental state, however, she’s unsure as to whether what she has experienced is real. However, her nightmares seem to be getting better and she willingly goes back to the house. On her next visit, after some more naked ritual stuff, Jane is made to hold a knife while Mary falls on it. Turns out, Mary’s only way out of the cult was death, but first she needed to bring them a replacement…that’s Jane. When she learns she is now bound to the cult, Jane panics. She tries to escape, but now, wherever she turns to get away from the cult, others around her end up dead.
All the Colors of the Dark is an Italian film with a story that takes place in England. The version I watched was dubbed into English. I have to say, I found this bizarre little film quite intriguing. The film starts with this totally whacked out psychedelic dream sequence that leaves you just a bit unsure of what you’ve gotten yourself into right from the beginning. The feel of the film does not stay as bizarre as that opening, though it does have a few more out there moments as things progress. The film also has fair degree of creativity when it comes to the shot composition that gives the whole thing a very unsettling atmosphere.
The evil cult aspect of the story is genuinely creepy. They’re part zombies, part vampires throwing their own little Eyes Wide Shut sort of party with their leader who looks a bit like Alan Rickman with long blue fingernails. That probably doesn’t sound all that intimidating but I found them to be an effective bunch of baddies.
I’ve also got to give high marks to the very beautiful Edwige Fenech. She’s not just some ridiculous scream queen here. Her terror is very palpable. What her character is going through may be somewhat outlandish, but her performance has a certain realism to it. I think had her performance not been so strong, the material may have come off as much more cheesy.
Some viewers today may struggle a bit with the early 70’s feel of the film and the subject matter is certainly not for everyone. However, the film has some solid scares as well as a bizarre creativity that sets it apart from more standard horror offerings.