Purple Glow was almost entirely shot in the woods. Although this usually is the classic signature of a no-budget production, in my opinion, it is first and foremost a labyrinthine setting where one feels alone at day and observed at night. Most of the movie happens at night: It must have been quite a challenge for the shooting crew. The lighting sometimes looks fake, but is always sufficient. Once in a while, a character is lit in a subtle purple light to remind us the title of the movie. It’s an interesting touch and it works! The overall quality of the movie reminds me of something Brain Damage Films would distribute, which is a good thing. It was mainly shot in Trois-Rivières, Québec, with a budget of $5000.
Gratuitous nudity used to be a must in horror movies. Purple Glow has none. It relies on sensuality instead, a sign of respect for the actresses. It would have been too easy to take advantage of such a script and show some skin.
The acting has its highs and lows. Costa Alexandrakis (Irish Whisky) is the only one to give a true performance in his tough guy part. Suzi Lorraine makes a brief appearance, the first time as someone’s fantasy, then a second time as part of a campfire tale (the funniest moment of the movie). In both cases, she isn’t there for her acting talents but rather, obviously, because she’s one of the cutest “Scream Queens” of the moment and because everyone wants a piece of her in their movie.
The movie should not be taken seriously; lots of things don’t make sense. Why did this woman walk what seems like miles in hope of getting a signal on her cell phone? Why would a couple fight over who goes for help and who stays and dies? Who was this fetishist couple that doesn’t bring anything to the story, again? Then, there is the blood. It is too liquid, too clear and way too pink. Even under purple lighting, blood should never come out pink. It turns me off.
Purple Glow belongs to no subgenre in particular. It is a science-fiction, a possession movie and a slasher all at the same time. Everything starts like a drive-in classic and finishes like one of those zombie flicks. I enjoyed the recipe. We know so little about outer space and that’s one of the reasons the movie works. Anything can happen from the moment this meteorite strikes the earth. Purple Glow has its share of defects and clichés but then it also has its share of goods.