SANTA SANGRE (4-Disc Digipack Review)
FROM SEVERIN FILMS
Review by Fluffy the Fearless🙀
Confession time, folks. Though certainly aware of the Chilean wizard of weird, I never took time to sit down and watch one of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s films until now. In some ways - mostly aesthetic - his reputation precedes him. Santa Sangre is bursting with colorful, bizarre and surreal imagery, some of which achieves a level of beautiful grotesquery I’m not likely to forget.
Conversely, despite a plethora of strange characters, dark psychedelia and symbolic set-pieces, Santa Sangre tells a surprisingly straight-forward story. Not that it’s anything that would ever play in a suburban multiplex, but beneath its trippy-dippy exterior beats the heart of a deliberately-paced psychological thriller...and ultimately a tragedy. Though Jodorowsky might take offense, the first film that came-to-mind afterwards was the original Psycho.
|"Hey! You're not Santa!"|
Presently, Fenix escapes from a mental hospital at Concha’s behest. Cruel and verbally abusive, she forces him to serve as the arms she lost, which also includes brutally murdering any other woman he’s attracted to. Initially, Jodorowsky suggests an incestuous relationship, but the scenario doesn’t bare this out. Without ruining some of the film’s surprises - and genuine shocks - imagine Psycho from Norman Bates’ perspective. We’re watching a skewed perception of reality and can’t always trust what we’re seeing. And of course, I’m simplifying the hell out of the narrative. Fenix’s environment and tragic path - real or imagined - are far more complex.
|"S'cuse me while I whip this out."|
However, what might really make this beautifully-packaged set worth the upgrade are the extra bells & whistles. Some of the supplemental material is carried over from the previous release, but there’s a big batch of new stuff, too, the most interesting of which is a CD of Simon Boswell’s original soundtrack. For anyone with an appreciation for one of cinema’s most notorious eccentrics, this is a must-own.
4K ULTRA HD & BLU-RAY COPIES
ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK CD - Simon Boswell’s eclectic, moody score, running 10 tracks.
“FORGET EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER SEEN: THE WORLD OF SANTA SANGRE” - Excellent feature-length documentary, originally released in 2011. It may not be brand new, but it’s easily the best of the bonus features.
“NEW BLOOD” - 30 minute doc on the film’s restoration, with director Alejandro Jodorowsky.
AUDIO COMMENTARY - By director Alejandro Jodorowsky & journalist Alan Jones.
“LIKE A PHOENIX” - Interview with producer Claudio Argento.
“HOLY BLOOD” - Interview with cinematographer Daniele Nannuzzi.
“MEXICAN MAGIC” - Interview with exec. Producer Angelo Iacono.
“THE LANGUAGE OF EDITING” - Interview with editor Mauro Bonanni.
“INNOCENCE AND HORROR” - Interview with screenwriter Roberto Leoni.
“SANTA SANGRE 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION” - Includes a brief Q&A.
“GOYO CARDENAS SPREE KILLER” - A disturbing short doc about the real-life killer who inspired the movie.
“JODOROWSKY ON STAGE Q&A” - From 2002.
JODOROWSKY 2003 INTERVIEW
“SIMON BOSWELL INTERVIEWS JODOROWSKY” - Boswell is the film’s composer.
“CLOSE YOUR EYES” - Music video for the song.
“ECHEK” - Short film by Adan Jodorowsky, Alejando’s son, who plays young Fenix in the film.
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