Chloe (Something Weird, 1997). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

WHERE ARE YA, YA OLD BAT??? Sorry, I had to get that out of my system after hearing the song "Chloe" over and over on the soundtrack. This is not strictly an "all-black cast" film, as it is advertised, but it is a rare film from the 30s that deals with race as an issue. The title character is a young woman who is the daughter of an old black voodoo woman and an unknown white father––or is she really Betty Ann, the daughter of the wealthy white colonel, who was thought to be drowned 15 years ago. Like most cheap films of the period this is hard to follow. It doesn't help that Jim, Chloe's black suitor, and Wade, her white suitor, look almost identical. Still, this was made on location in the Florida everglades, and the scenery gives a weird, spooky feeling to the procedings. It deserves some points for dealing with the race issue, though I can't help but think that the ultimate message of the film is "It's better to be white." An oddity from the Deep South.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ***.

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