Chloe, Love Is Calling You (1934)

  • Chloe (1934)Producer: J. O. Trop
  • Director: Marshall Neilan
  • Writer: Marshall Neilan
  • Actors: Olive Borden, Reed Howes, Molly O’Day
  • Studio: Pinnacle Productions

This “forgotten horror” was inspired by Eva Taylor’s song “Chloe – Song Of The Swamp” (also a hit by Paul Whiteman). Chloe (20s star Olive Borden) is a confused, mixed race young woman being raised in the swamp by angry “old voodoo negress” Mandy (Georgette Harvey) who talks (in rhyme) to animals, smokes a pipe, has an evil laugh and declares “the Devil’s gonna walk on a white man’s grave!” The faithful, light skinned, lovesick Jim wrestles a gator in the swamp (obviously a swimming pool) to save Chloe, but she falls for the Yankee Wade (Reed Howes from The Terror), who is running the local Turpentine distillery for the rich, mint julep sipping Colonel.

Once you see the surprise plot twists coming, you realize that this whole twisted movie is about fear of black people. All the workers hate whites and are ready to use voodoo for revenge. Mandy (whose husband had been lynched) has Chloe tied up (next to skulls) for a ceremony and plans to cut her heart out! Fans of roots music will enjoy the washboard and guitar instrumental band, probably the The Shreveport House Wreckers who recorded for Victor. By the director of Black Waters (1929) and the producer of Hopalong Cassidy movies.

“Chloe – Song Of The Swamp” also inspired a Daffy Duck cartoon (in 1942), a Spike Jones parody (in 1945) and a Louie Armstrong remake (1953).

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