Santa Sangre

Movie Information

The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen Santa Sangre Thursday, March 17, at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge of The Carolina Asheville and will be hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther.
Genre: Transgressive Art House Horror
Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo)
Starring: Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell, Thelma Tixou, Sabina Dennison, Adan Jodorowsky
Rated: NR

Praised by many (including Roger Ebert) and vilified by others, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Santa Sange sits poised uneasily between the world of art house cinema and exploitation horror. Because its slasher horror content is occasionally so extreme, it originally earned an NC-17 rating—a rating that was later surrendered by the filmmakers in order to put back footage that had been trimmed to secure any kind of rating at all. In this—and in many other respects—the film earns its polarizing nature. There are scenes that are bound to offend everyone in the audience at one point or another, which is deliberate. A weird collaboration between Jodorowsky and Claudio Argento (brother of Italian horror director Dario Argento), the film is a mix of influences, including Luis Buñuel, Tod Browning, James Whale, Hitchcock, German Expressionism, John Waters and extremely gory splatter movies. But the film ultimately manages to be pure Jodorowsky—with everything that implies, including the uncertainty as to whether the filmmaker is really as wacko as he appears, or if it’s at least partly a contrived persona. Is the man a genius, a madman or a charlatan? My guess is that he’s a bit of all three. What’s most alarming is that Santa Sangre is probably the most accessible of his films.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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One thought on “Santa Sangre

  1. DrSerizawa

    Well, at least it’s different. And it’s not every day that you get to see someone pull a python out of his pants. I think more than anything that endeared me to the movie a bit.

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