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JODOROWSKY S MODERN MASTERPIECE
ON DVD FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN AMERICA
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.
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The basic plot is that a man who grows up in a circus gets deeply traumatized and ends up in an insane asylum. One night his arm-less mom shows up and tells him to come home. He goes to her, stands behind her acting as the arms she's missing, and then murders start. None of this is a spoiler and things get even wilder from here.
It's amazing how Jodorowsky can balance all the goofiness and foolishness of the film with moments that are either deeply creepy like sharing a dress with your mom or deeply sad, which I won't spoil. It's a balancing act that most people wouldn't be able to pull off but he does and has an equally game cast made up mostly of his family, a pretty deaf girl, and people from the local special needs shelter. He's shockingly Italian Neo-Realist with the whole thing. You need a person with a mental disorder in your movie? Alejandro's answer when making this movie was to go pick one up at the hospital. It adds an air of exploitation to the film that makes it feel that much more creepy.
I can't say the movie is for everyone. It's gory, filled with sex, and doesn't follow any normal rules of film making. It's amazing though and has more than a few images you won't see anywhere else.
It's hallucinatory, frightening, amusing (black humor), surreal and ultimately...tragic and sad.
I won't give an entire synopsis or play by play of the movie. I don't feel like spoiling the experience for potential viewers (that's what the Wikipedia page and other reviews are for...). I prefer going into films knowing as little about the movie as possible. Why open your Christmas gifts the day before Christmas, right?
That said, Santa Sangre is told in flashbacks and the present. Felix is the film's protagonist and his journey is harrowing. In a strange way, Santa Sangre is more than a horror film or a surrealist's project: it's a psychological study of human bonding, family ties/loyalty, love and culture. It's a demented coming of age story...
Like a good horror film (or film, period) should do, Santa Sangre conveys social commentary and sociological and psychological subtext.
The imagery of the movie is gorgeous and horrific. Much like an Argento film, there is no shortage of color, quirky charters and elaborate set-pieces here.
If you've yet to see this film and you're a huge fan of the horror genre, do it now. If you've yet to see this film and you love film, see this now. Point blank: see this now.
The images are wonderful. The story line is complicated and surreal but very riveting. If you have never seen Jodorowsky's work, this is a great introduction. If you like circus films, this is a great one. If you are into stories about dysfunctional families and the way they can affect adulthood, this is your film. If you just want stunning cinema. please watch this.
"SANTA SANGRE," was an interesting trek with this film. I have never, never, seen a more creative director. I have two titles on Blu-Ray and will re-buy "El Topo" on Blu Ray too. Viewing these titles a second time, loses much because all the shock value has been shown at the first viewing. But, I introduce new people to watch it and they too become Alexander's fan. If you watch it over and over, you can still see scenes that show things you may have missed the first time around. I cannot praise these films any higher for the collector of DVDs.