Santa Sangre [4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + CD]
(Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell, et al / 3-Disc Blu-ray + CD / NR / (1989) 2021 / Severin Films - MVD Visual)
Overview: A former circus artist escapes from a mental hospital to rejoin his armless mother - the leader of a strange religious cult - and is forced to enact brutal murders in her name as he becomes "her arms".
Blu-ray Verdict: It has been hailed as "extraordinary" (The Guardian), "visionary and haunting" (Rolling Stone) and "a grand work of art, full of symbols and imagery that reach beyond language to something primal and original" (AV Club).
director Alejandro Jodorowsky returns like never before, with 8+ hours of archival & all-new Special Features.
Severin Films is proud to present this 4-Disc Deluxe Edition of Jodorowskys epic odyssey through ecstasy and anguish, belief and blasphemy, beauty and madness - and the surreal genius behind it all - now featuring a 4K scan from the original negative supervised by the director himself!
Santa Sangre was Chilean-born director, Alejandro Jodorowskys fourth film in a twenty three year span since making Fando and Lis. It reportedly took six years to write, however, lucky us Jodorwsky does not rouse himself to make a movie very often.
This heady mix of circus freaks (a tattooed lady, an exotic midget, sad-faced clowns) and weird religious and hallucinatory imagery (an armless virgin saint, writhing snakes, zombie brides) is pregnant with disturbing psychological undercurrents.
The result of Santa Sangre can be considered complete nonsense of a very extravagant, alienating, private sort. It is as familiarly esoteric as Jodorowskys other efforts, but it possesses very pronounced influences, including Psycho, Freaks (Tod Browning is Jodorowskys cinematic father), Tommy, The Invisible Man, and even Fellinis partiality to the circus. Nonetheless, citing influences for this film only contests its individuality and imagination.
At best the movie can be embraced as colorful, lavishly eccentric non sequitur. In the basic narrative sense, Santa Sangre never comes close to making sense. Or at least not any sense that would not require a monumental decoding. And who would want to go to the trouble?
In the place of a coherently ordered story, the picture strings together a series of banal Freudianisms involving a circus family that falls into ruin when the father, the Great Orgo (Guy Stockwell), is caught by his aerialist wife, Concha (Blanca Guerra), in flagrante delicto with the Tattooed Woman (Thelma Tixou), and as revenge for being doused with acid, slices off Conchas arms, then kills himself.
Enough of this horrific bloodletting is witnessed by the couples young son, Fenix (Adan Jodorowsky, the directors son), who grows up to be a raving mass murderer (played by Axel Jodorowsky, the directors other son) who believes he is driven by his rampaging, armless mother to kill every woman who attracts him.
Never mind that (shades of Psycho) the mother turns out to be a puppet. Or that Fenix is rescued from madness by Alma (Sabrina Dennison), the white-faced, deaf and mute girl he fell in love with as a boy.
Though often lacking a concise, cohesive narrative for the average, typical mind, but for one with an eye for bizarre and surreal visuals, you will understand there is an intriguing story buried inside of Santa Sangre.
Also, Jodorowsky, near the end, includes a certain twist to the story, but unlike many other films I could mention, I did not mind when it came around.
If anything, it helped put another high level of pure surrealism to the subject matter. And ironically, there is nothing way over the top about Jodorowskys style (aside from maybe the violence and a tragic-comic funeral of an elephant) in terms of the camera.
Simply put, here his drama is at a level of potency that comes from the emotional strengths on the actors faces and mannerisms, as well as just the choices of the actors themselves on appearance.
Whether you come out of Santa Sangre feeling you have seen a work of a master director or the un-Godly harpings of a madman of cinema, it is definitely not like much else out there today. For me, it is the peak of Jodorowskys small body of work (although Holy Mountain comes close, perhaps). This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features* of:
4K Ultra HD Disc featuring a 4K scan from the original negative supervised by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Presentation of Santa Sangre on Blu-ray
FORGET EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER SEEN: The World of Santa Sangre
Feature length documentary with Co-Writer / Director Alejandro Jodorowsky, Actors Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Thelma Tixou, Sabrina Dennison, Adan Jodorowsky, Elenka Tapia, Teo Tapia
New Blood - Alejandro Jodorowsky on the restoration of Santa Sangre
Like A Phoenix - Interview with Producer Claudio Argento
Holy Blood - Interview with Cinematographer Danielle Nannuzzi
Mexican Magic - Interview with Executive Producer Angelo Iacono
The Language of Editing - Interview with Editor Mauro Bonanni
Innocence in Horror - Interview with Screenwriter Roberto Leoni
Santa Sangre 30th Anniversary Celebration at Morbido Festival, Mexico City
Audio Commentary with Alejandro Jodorowsky and Journalist Alan Jones
Goyo Cordenas Spree Killer - Documentary on the Real Life Inspiration for Santa Sangre
Jodorowsky 2003 Interview
Jodorowsky on Stage Q & A
Deleted Scenes with Optional Director Commentary
ECHECK - Adan Jodorowsky Short Film
Simon Boswell Interviews Jodorowsky
"Close Your Eyes" Simon Boswell Music Video
BLINK JODOROWSKY Short by Simon Boswell