Monday, October 1, 2018

30 Days to Halloween- 1989 Santa Sangre

Over the next 100 days, I will present one movie of significances in horror, suspense or thrillers for each year from 1919 to 2018. The next film presented here is the 1989 art-house horror movie "Santa Sangre" starring Axel Jodorowsky, Adan Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Thelma Tixou and directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Santa Sangre (1989) 
Dir- Alejandro Jodorowsky

Picture a movie that crosses Psycho with Freaks, and adds a little Fellini for cosmetic charm. The gifted Mexican director Alejandro Jodorowsky brings forth yet another typical trip into genuine horror. We meet a young man named Fenix, who is confined to a mental hospital and through a series of flashbacks we are witnesses to many brutal events. His parents were circus performers, his mother an aerialist and his father a tattooed strongman. His mother was also the leader of a religious cult that worshiped a limbless saint; the saint was a poor woman who was attacked by a man and had her arms severed. The blood of this saint is "Santa Sangre," holy blood, and is collected in a pool in a church that is scheduled to be bulldozed. Fenix is close to a young mute girl named Alma, the two share a special bond, and it is his relationship with her that allows him to handle the problems with his family. Later we witness a horrible event transpire, his mother sees his father having an affair with another carnival performer, and she tracks them down and attacks the woman and fatally injures her husband. During the assault she loses her limbs, much like the saint, she worships. All of this is supposed to have happened years before but did it transpire. We return to Fenix at the asylum, and he is met by his limbless mother who uses him as her "Limbs" in a series of gruesome murders and acts of revenge. We also find a grown-up Alma wandering the streets looking for Fenix; she may be the only person who can bring him to reality. Along the way we are witnessed to a multitude of images and powerful scenes that may or may not be real, all the while we must consider that we may be seeing the delusions of a person with a mental health condition. Like his previous work, El Topo, Santa Sangre is a powerful and violent film that does not follow standard conventions. Its style is unique and wildly imaginative. Director Alejandro Jodorowsky has again created another wild ride in the weird world of Mexican horror. Available in NC-17 and a toned down R version.

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