Santa Sangre

Fri, Oct 1, 2010

Made in 1989 and set in Mexico, Santa Sangre is Jodorowsky’s deepest foray into complex, surrealist horror genre. Co-written with Claudio Argento (brother of Dario), it tells the story of a young “child magician” Fenix (played by Axel Jodorowsky, Alejandro’s son), who witnesses his father carry on an affair with another circus performer, and in a later confrontation, cuts off his mother’s arms. Starting as a show-act, the mother and son team perform with Fenix’s limbs emerging from the armless sleeves. It soon becomes apparent that his mother can control his limbs as her own, and the Fenix kills several women his mother has determined to be a threat. Unfolding in a set of flashbacks and flashfowards, the film is a story of perverse and brutal acts in a fractured family. As a "horror film, [it is] one of the greatest,”the critic Rogert Ebert has written, adding  that it demonstrates “true psychic horror is possible on the screen--horror, poetry, surrealism, psychological pain and wicked humor, all at once.”

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