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"Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

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"Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Old 09-25-11, 07:56 PM
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"Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1






Santa Sangre (1989)



Selected by Bladz



IMDB ENTRY

NETFLIX WATCH INSTANTLY

These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET.

MAIN THREAD | LIST THREAD

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.

Spoiler tags are unnecessary in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.

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Old 10-01-11, 04:34 AM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Aside from the striking imagery and well integrated music score this had some great themes. Some themes that stood out to me were the interplay between childhood whimsy and adult sexual/aggressive fantasies. The circus theme carrying over from a stageshow to brothel was amazing. I couldn't tell if some of the imagery was thematic or just elaborate set piece (white corpses, dying elephant, etc). Good Oedipus Complex staging. I am planning in checking out some other Jorowsky films after the horror challenge.

I wonder how much of this film was influenced by Psycho.
Old 10-01-11, 10:26 PM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

I've been curious about this film since it first came out. Over the years, I'd seen the video box in various rental stores, but I never actually pulled the trigger to watch it. I'm glad that I've now finally seen it...but don't ask me to tell you what it means, because I'm still working that out. On the surface, it's the story of a boy of the circus named Fenix whose father cuts off the arms of his mother, then commits suicide. After some time spent in a hospital due to the psychic trauma inflicted on him from watching his father commit suicide, Fenix leaves the hospital, reunites with his mother, and "becomes" her arms. And I don't mean that he's merely helping out around the house, sweeping and cooking and such--he walks behind her, slipping his arms into the sleeves of her garments, and his arms become hers, complete with painted false fingernails. There's a lot more to the relationship (and the film) than this, but this is one of those films that's going to speak to each individual who watches it in a different way. So, instead of giving you MY interpretation of events, I'd rather leave you to sort it out for yourself...as I'm still doing. I really appreciate that Santa Sangre's director, Alejandro Jodorowsky, doesn't beat the viewer about the head and neck with explanations. The information he gives is elliptical, and it's only later upon reflection that what seemed at first like random plot points begins to cohere into a comprehensible narrative. I need to watch this again, though, to help that process along. A few more random thoughts about Santa Sangre:

1. Jodorowsky goes all Argento for a minute with the death of the tattooed woman.
2. U2's Bono seems to have gotten more than one costume idea from this film.
3. The "strongest woman in the world" looks a LOT like Tom Hanks in drag from Bosom Buddies.
4. The adult Alma, once she puts the white makeup back on, looks a lot like Simone Simon from Cat People.
5. For me, the film's loveliest moment comes when the soldier picks up the sleeping Alma and cradles her like a child. For some reason, that really affected me.
6. Trouser snake--best visual pun in a long time.

Last edited by rbrown498; 10-01-11 at 10:31 PM.
Old 10-01-11, 10:50 PM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
5. For me, the film's loveliest moment comes when the soldier picks up the sleeping Alma and cradles her like a child. For some reason, that really affected me.
Wait. Didn't he pick her up with the intent of raping her?!
Old 10-01-11, 11:19 PM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Although I do not have access to this disc I am curious how revealing the audio commentary with Jodorowsky is on the blu-ray. From DVDtalk review "...the pair wastes little time diving into the nuts and bolts of not only Santa Sangre..."
Old 10-02-11, 02:43 AM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Wait. Didn't he pick her up with the intent of raping her?!
I thought he was cradling her too but this was my first time watching it and I'm still trying to digest everything.

That said, I loved it. I can't wait to watch it again.
Old 10-02-11, 05:20 AM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Wait. Didn't he pick her up with the intent of raping her?!
Yea. Its obviious he was slow in the head and was playing with her but its clear what his intentions were... especially after she started to fight.


I think this movie is brilliant. It isn't perfect, but its damn close imo.
Old 10-02-11, 07:30 AM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Yeah, he was definitely cradling her, and it was a strangely sweet moment I guess. At first I thought perhaps he'd change his mind, her innocence calming the savage beast.

Lots of interesting moments like that throughout the film.

Loved it as well. Very strong choice Bladz! Between this film and [REC] today, it's hard to imagine the rest of the subset choices keeping up.
Old 10-02-11, 10:25 AM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
1. Jodorowsky goes all Argento for a minute with the death of the tattooed woman.
Well Claudio Argento was at least somewhat involved in the movie so my guess is that he helped with that scene.
Old 10-02-11, 11:35 AM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Wait. Didn't he pick her up with the intent of raping her?!
He did indeed, Trevor, but I thought (like you did) that maybe he WOULD change his mind, and that all he really needed was someone to care for, if only for a few minutes.

Some lines from an Utada Hikaru song immediately sprang to my mind: "Everybody wants me to be their angel, everybody wants something they can cradle." (I loves me some J-Pop!) But then she woke up, and things went bad, and he ended up getting smashed in the head with a bottle.

The more I mull over the film, the more I appreciate it.
Old 10-02-11, 01:13 PM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Undeadcow View Post
I am planning in checking out some other Jorowsky films after the horror challenge.
There's a Jodorowsky DVD box set that has his 3 other feature films (El Topo, The Holy Mountain, Fando y Lis) along with a 35 minute short film, 90 minute documentary on his life and films, and the soundtracks to El Topo and Holy Mountain. I bought it a couple years back for around $30 but it looks like Amazon has it now for $22.99. This is probably the best value I've seen in a box set considering the quantity and quality of the content. All his films are great and unlike anything else you've seen. Holy Mountain is one of the best movies, visually, that I've ever watched. The set is called "The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky".

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Loved it as well. Very strong choice Bladz!
Thanks Trevor! I'm glad I was able to recommend something a lot of people hadn't seen and ended up enjoying.
Old 10-02-11, 01:19 PM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

This was the first time I sat and watched the blu, looks really good. I love this movie.
Old 10-02-11, 01:31 PM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by SethDLH View Post
This was the first time I sat and watched the blu, looks really good. I love this movie.
This was also my first time watching the blu-ray. It was a significant upgrade from the bad quality torrent I had originally watched. I was pretty excited when it finally got a U.S. release earlier this year. I was saving the blu-ray to watch this month.
Old 10-04-11, 08:18 AM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Bladz View Post
There's a Jodorowsky DVD box set that has his 3 other feature films (El Topo, The Holy Mountain, Fando y Lis) along with a 35 minute short film, 90 minute documentary on his life and films, and the soundtracks to El Topo and Holy Mountain. I bought it a couple years back for around $30 but it looks like Amazon has it now for $22.99. This is probably the best value I've seen in a box set considering the quantity and quality of the content. All his films are great and unlike anything else you've seen. Holy Mountain is one of the best movies, visually, that I've ever watched. The set is called "The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky".
I am almost positive that I bought that set years ago, back when I was first exploring foreign films, and at a similar price, but darn if I can't find the set on any of my shelves.
Originally Posted by Bladz View Post
This was also my first time watching the blu-ray. It was a significant upgrade from the bad quality torrent I had originally watched. I was pretty excited when it finally got a U.S. release earlier this year. I was saving the blu-ray to watch this month.
I definitely plan to upgrade mine to BD as well. Are there good extras?
Old 10-05-11, 11:34 AM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

An excellent pick, and an excellent movie... def. has an awesome vibe. I agree he does get his Argento on in the killing of the tatoo lady.
Old 10-05-11, 02:32 PM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
I definitely plan to upgrade mine to BD as well. Are there good extras?
I haven't had a chance to watch any of the extras but there's a whole lot to go through. There's a Jodorowsky commentary and a 97 minute documentary on Santa Sangre. There's also a documentary on Jodorowsky and another on Goyo Cardenas, who is the killer the film is based on. Two Jodorowsky interviews and a Q&A with him are also included. In addition to all of this, there's 2 short films, deleted scenes with commentary, a music video, and theatrical trailers. The special features are pretty extensive I must say.
Old 10-05-11, 02:56 PM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

Originally Posted by Bladz View Post
I haven't had a chance to watch any of the extras but there's a whole lot to go through. There's a Jodorowsky commentary and a 97 minute documentary on Santa Sangre. There's also a documentary on Jodorowsky and another on Goyo Cardenas, who is the killer the film is based on. Two Jodorowsky interviews and a Q&A with him are also included. In addition to all of this, there's 2 short films, deleted scenes with commentary, a music video, and theatrical trailers. The special features are pretty extensive I must say.
Sweet! Hopefully all of that is at least subtitled in English.
Old 10-08-11, 05:46 PM
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Re: "Santa Sangre" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 1

I guess I'll be the only dissenting voice in here on this movie. People seem to be afraid to speak up against crappy arty movies like this because they are afraid of being seen as simplistic. I, luckily, don't care what other people think of me.

I thought it was a massive turd. Acting was terrible, effects were terrible, story was terrible, the editing was terrible...hell, even the nudity was terrible and how the heck do you fuck up nudity?

Obviously not my kind of movie. I know some people enjoy artsy-fartsy shit like this but take away the art and the fart and it is still shit.

The only horror for this movie is that if someone made me watch it again. Psychological drama maybe but not horror. Dreadful. For simplistic folks like me, watch this when you need help falling asleep.

My rating: 1/2 star out of *****

Edited to add: Oh yeah...I forgot to explain my 1/2 star...it is for having boombox street dancing coked up Down Syndrome kids. Seriously.

Last edited by Spiderbite; 10-09-11 at 12:22 AM.

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