Some movies are so racially offensive, you have to just laugh them off as outdated artifacts and enjoy them as the campy, fetid turd-fests they are. Enter Chloe. While it’s been packaged as the “bonus” film on the DVD release of The Devil’s Daughter, Chloe is actually much more entertaining — granted, also much more noxious — than that painfully slow and predictable melodrama. What begins as a standard “tragic mulatto” tale quickly devolves into some sort of “white is right” propaganda that, while perhaps not as intentionally racist as, say, Birth of a Nation, nonetheless delivers twisted, jaw-dropping morals. Let’s watch as the cumulative hatred mounts on the patented Black Horror Movies Scale of Racism:
Racism Level 1 (Abercrombie & Fitch): The story revolves around fair-skinned Chloe (silent screen starlet Olive Borden in her final role), who lives a restless life in the bayou with her big ol’ mammy Mandy (Georgette Harvey), pining away for a better existence and hoping beyond hope that she isn’t actually black — because really, who’d want that?
Racism Level 2 (Utah): While Mandy is occupied shaking her fist at local white bigwig Colonel Gordon because she believes he had her husband Sam hanged years ago (Given Mandy’s hatred for white people and the fact that her husband was black, one has to wonder who Chloe’s father is supposed to be…but more on that later.), Chloe is attacked by big black thieving Mose (Augustus Smith), who proclaims a love for “redbones”. In leaps white stud Wade Carson (Reed Howes) to the rescue. Mose is about to shoot Wade (lynch alert!) when local Negro and Chloe admirer Jim knocks jumps in and him out. Not only does Jim get just a meek “thank you” from Wade for saving his life, but he’s also cock blocked when he offers to walk Chloe home. “I’ll go with the young lady,” Wade interjects, grabbing Chloe’s basket. Player hater.
Racism Level 3 (Denny’s): Chloe instantly falls for Wade — he’s white, after all — which pisses Mandy off to no end. She insists that Chloe marry Jim, but Chloe refuses. The situation becomes deliciously ludicrous when you realize that Jim is played by a white actor (Philip Ober, who later married — and reportedly slapped around — Vivian Vance of I Love Lucy fame).
Racism Level 4 (Paris Hilton): It’s revealed that Colonel Gordon didn’t have Sam killed. He merely fired Sam, who then knocked him out in a rage and ran away. Then, according to the Colonel, “Folks tracked him down and lynched him”. Um, was there a “yadda yadda yadda” in there that I missed?
Racism Level 5 (Fox News Channel): Hallelujah! Turns out that Chloe isn’t black after all! She’s Colonel Gordon’s long-lost daughter whom Mandy kidnapped as an infant. When she finds out, Chloe doesn’t bother with goodbyes and immediately moves into her new, cushy lifestyle. Ben (Richard Huey), a typical “yes’m” black butler gleefully and loyally backs up the colonel’s story. I guess all black people are thievin’ liars after all.
Racism Level 6 (Strom Thurmond): Mandy doesn’t give up so easily, however. She kidnaps Chloe again (restraining order anyone?) and does what any average black woman would do with her rebellious stolen white daughter: sacrifice her in a voodoo ritual.
Racism Level 7 (Third Reich): Look, here comes Wade to save the day! He rescues Chloe, but only after Jim shows up to kill a nogoodnik who’s about to shoot Wade. The thanks Jim gets for saving Wade’s life AGAIN (not to mention a random earlier scene in which he rescues Chloe by wrestling an alligator)? He gets shot and falls into the swamp, never to be heard from again… But at least the white people live happily ever after.