Santa Sangre (“Holy Blood”) is a 1989 Mexican-Italian avant-garde thriller film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky from a screenplay co-written with Claudio Argento and Roberto Leoni.
The film tells the story of Fenix, a boy who grew up in a circus, and his life through both adolescence and early adulthood.
Santa Sangre did not receive a wide release in the U.S. since its original premiere, only screening at a few theaters familiar with Jodorowsky’s previous work.
In the United States, it was originally rated NC-17 for “several scenes of extremely explicit violence”. However, an edited version was released with an R rating for “bizarre, graphic violence and sensuality, and for drug content.”
“Santa Sangre is a throwback to the golden age, to the days when filmmakers had bold individual visions and were not timidly trying to duplicate the latest mass-market formulas. This is a movie like none I have seen before, a wild kaleidoscope of images and outrages, a collision between Freud and Fellini.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“While Santa Sangre is a magnificent film, it’s only fair to warn potential viewers that it does demand some intelligence, an open mind, and a relatively strong stomach – while the violence here isn’t excessive by modern horror standards, it’s still impactful, and at times imaginatively macabre enough to make even a hardened gorehound wince.”Kit Rathenar, Brutal as Hell
“No matter what its faults, any movie that manages to reference Tod Browning, James Whale, Alfred Hitchcock, George Romero, Dario Argento, and El Santo is worth a look in my book.” Mitch Lovell, The Video Vacuum
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