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Santa Sangre (1989)

Guy Stockwell , Blanca Guerra , Alejandro Jodorowsky  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

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Santa Sangre + The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky (Fando y Lis / El Topo / The Holy Mountain)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Guy Stockwell, Blanca Guerra, Axel Jodorowsky
  • Directors: Alejandro Jodorowsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Severin Films
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004B32500
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,524 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Santa Sangre" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the 1970s, his legendary films EL TOPO and THE HOLY MOUNTAIN redefined movies as both art and entertainment while changing the face of cinema forever. And in 1989, visionary writer/director Alejandro Jodorowsky returned with his modern masterpiece: It is the story of a young circus performer, the crime of passion that shatters his soul, and the macabre journey back to the world of his armless mother, deaf-mute lover, and murder. It is an odyssey of ecstasy and anguish, belief and blasphemy, beauty and madness. It is unlike any movie you have ever seen before...or ever will. Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra and Guy Stockwell star in this epic of surreal genius, now fully restored and featuring more than five hours of exclusive Extras that reveal the mind behind one of the most provocative and unforgettable motion picture experiences of our time.

Though the phrase "like nothing you have ever seen" has lost some of its impact in recent years--what, honestly, have the Internet and reality TV allowed us to not see?--it remains entirely applicable to Santa Sangre, director Alejandro Jodorowsky's astonishing 1990 feature about the furthest limits of love, obsession, and familial devotion. Like Jodorowsky's seminal films El Topo (1970) and The Holy Mountain (1973), which helped to launch the "midnight movies" scene of the 1970s, Santa Sangre is a visually arresting film, filled with hallucinatory and often shocking imagery (the death of a circus elephant is among the jaw-dropping highlights) and shot through with a wide-ranging list of influences, including the films of Luis Buñuel, Alfred Hitchcock, Tod Browning's Freaks, and James Whale's The Invisible Man. At its core, though, it exceeds the phantasmagoria of its visual components to deliver an engrossing, moving, and at times oddly humorous story of a young man, Fenix (Jodorowsky's son Axel), institutionalized after the traumatic death of his father (Guy Stockwell) and horrific mutilation of his mother (Blanca Guerra), only to be removed from his environment and forced to participate in a musical act where he quite literally serves as his mother's arms. Complicating matters is the return of Alma, a young mime (Faviola Elenka Tapia) whom he loved as a boy, and who has endured an equally torturous childhood. The Oedipal conflict between Fenix, his mother, and Alma adds a layer of psycho-sexual tension that is played for high drama rather than exploitation; that position--the bizarre as everyday, and the accepted as alien, informs every aspect of Santa Sangre, making it a cult movie lover's dream, and a worthwhile companion to Jodorowksy's truly unique c.v.

Unavailable in any legal format since the early '90s, the DVD of Santa Sangre makes up for lost time by offering some five hours of extras, including a feature-length documentary, Forget Everything You Have Seen, which traces the film's gestation from conception to release. Jodorowsky, whose worldview matches his cinematic viewpoint in regard to both originality and eccentricity, is front and center on a fascinating commentary track, as well as a quartet of interview features, including a 2003 interview at a screening where the director lets loose on all manner of subjects, from Quentin Tarantino to sex and violence. The film's composer, Simon Boswell, leads one of the interviews, and a music video for his song "Close Your Eyes" is also included in the features; rounding out the wealth of extras are short films by Boswell and Adan Jodorowsky (who plays the young Fenix), deleted scenes with commentary, theatrical trailers, and an episode of Jonathan Ross's fine UK TV series, For One Week Only, devoted to Jodorowsky. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Took Long Enough, But Was Worth The Wait... December 9, 2010
After over 20 years, Severin Films announces the release of Alejandro Jodorowsky's internationally acclaimed 'SANTA SANGRE'. The 1989 production, rarely seen since its U.S. theatrical release, comes to Blu-ray and DVD featuring a restored print of the film's European version as well as 5 hours of Bonus Material.

Jodorowsky exploded onto the international scene in the early 70's with his bizarre sensations 'EL TOPO' and 'HOLY MOUNTAIN'. Endorsed by John Lennon, who released 'EL TOPO's soundtrack on the Beatles Apple label, and embraced by underground culture worldwide, these films redefined movies as both art and entertainment while almost single-handedly creating the 'midnight movie' genre. Legal frustrations with the films' owner (and Beatles' disreputable manager) Allen Klein, as well as a failed attempt to direct a 14-hour movie adaptation of `Dune' starring Orson Welles and Salvador Dali, kept Jodorowsky from making films for 16 years until his triumphant return with 'SANTA SANGRE'.

Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell and the filmmaker's sons Axel and Adan Jodorowsky star in this surreal epic about a young circus performer, the crime of passion that shatters his soul, and the macabre journey back to the world of his armless mother, tattooed-strongman father and deaf-mute lover. "This is a movie like none I have seen before," wrote Roger Ebert in his original four-star review, "a wild kaleidoscope of images and outrages, a collision between Freud and Fellini." It contains blood and glory, saints and sinners, drug addicts and dealers, pimps and prostitutes, side-show freaks and the disenfranchised, circuses and churches, the pious and the perverse, as well as other unspeakable secrets of the night.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please watch this movie--it might change your life... September 6, 2005
What is a movie? Is it an entertainment? A work of ART? Is a motion picture only a lure to get you to engage in a mass spectacle of consumerism? Is it the catharsis of a crowd in the dark?

Are you an intellectual? Are you passionate? Have you even been interested in Archetypes and Collective unconscience? Do you know that when you take the journey with a story--that that story will always stay with you?

In 1989, a lot of things changed in my life. I really can't explain what they all were, but between August and December of 1989, my hair went from black to white, and I started on the life that I lead today. Then came Santa Sangre.

Allesandro Jodorowsky is what is frequently called a 'visionary' film director. What he is is a wizard and a shaman. Jodorowski is a Jungian psychiatrist who writes comic books and directs movies. He started way back in the sixties, and was actually the first person to direct for the beatle's Apple Corporation. As a result his first film (El Topo) is almost impossible to acquire or see. Like everything from Apple--there is an immense legal battle over it's soul.

And this guy's work has got SOUL that won't quit. Take the little number we are discussing today. Here you have the story of Fenix, raised in a circus by his parents Orgo (a hypnotic knife thrower played by guy stockwell) and Alma(who hangs by her hair and worships at the shrine of HOLY BLOOD hence the film's title.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A visionary and haunting film. February 19, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Alejandro Jodorowosky has been making films since the 1960s.Though he has made only a handful of films(7 in all),given the quality of "Santa Sangre",a visionary and haunting work,one wishes he was more prolific.It is not possible to describe "Santa Sangre" with due justice within such a small review;the only succinct way of describing it:it as if Pedro Calderon had written "Psycho",or that Alfred Hitchcock had directed "La Vida es Sueno".Influenced by Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis,the mordant satire and wit of Luis Bunuel and the beautiful baroque pageantry of Fellini,"Santa Sangre" tells the story of a reluctant serial killer(!) controlled by his dominating and insane mother and details his struggle to be liberated from her.The mother worships an imaginary saint,whose hagiography and devotion entails repression,guilt and false self-sacrifice.The son's attempt to attain romantic and sexual normalcy achieves(surprisingly,given the subject matter)much pathos.The ending is transcendent and the film contains many memorable images.Despite the criticisms leveled against the film's violence,"Santa Sangre" is not gory-it artfully suggests rather than explicates.However,if your idea of cinematic excellence are movies like:"The Towering Inferno","Terms of Endearment" or "Ghost"-then probably this film is not for you.However,if films like:"The Exterminating Angel",Satyricon",The Devils" and "Wild at Heart" are for you compelling and important works of art,then "Santa Sangre" is definitely to be experienced.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is to put it short one of the best "strange" films you'll ever...
This is to put it short one of the best "strange" films you'll ever see. Even the later Roger Ebert thought it was a great film. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Consumer1
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice movie by Jodorowsky
Nice movie by Jodorowsky, loaded with bonuses.

The only complain i have to do is about the bluray boxes the american industry always uses, a this cheap one, as it... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eduardo M. Barbosa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
New and perfect.
Published 3 months ago by Francisco Javier Ballesteros Aguado
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful movie.
I really love this film. It was a great inspiration. I don't know what else to say. Yet, this is a wonderful movie.
Published 4 months ago by Luis
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal and stunning (spoiler alert)
I can watch this film over and over. Jodorowsky has a way of beautiful way of presenting things. This is the story of a young man raised in a circus environment by dysfunctional... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sarah T
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange, different but good flick!
This is the only Alejandro Jodorowsky flick I've seen, but I'd like to check out some of his other work. A dark violent movie which is unlike any I've ever seen. Check it out!
Published 9 months ago by Alex LesVeaux
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful.
I love this movie. Every Alejandro Jodorowsky movie is very different but this one is without a doubt one of my favorites. Read more
Published 10 months ago by pure_lunacy
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful film that is *still* unlike anything else....
Santa Sangre is that "one of a kind" film that makes you feel changed somehow after a viewing. Such a statement sounds dramatic, but there are those special films out there that... Read more
Published 10 months ago by what could have been
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware.
This is a horrible movie, not horrifying. Acting, directing, sound. There really isn't a place to start or stop. Read more
Published 11 months ago by doomdforev
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, great bluray edition, okay transfer...
Jodorowskys best film, this is were his visual and poetic flare go by the hand of a great narrative and story to create a one of a kind horror film, i cannot recommend it enough,... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Abraham Sanchez
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