Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Santa Sangre (Holy Blood) 
(1989) Mexican

This was an avant-garde thriller, avant-garde being French for confuse-the-hell-out-of-you-for-no-reason-whatsoever. Nah, just kidding, avant-garde simply means vanguard, or experimental, innovative. Okay, no reason why you can't experiment with cinema, make something a little different. Stretching this, uh, experiment out to 123 minutes is really REALLY pushing it.

This movie goes back and forth in time so much, and goes from reality to the character's hallucination so many times, you're never sure what is real and what is not. I do know for a fact that what was real was that this was a HUGE pile that they never should have 'experimented' with. Not that I have a problem with Mexican movies or even the avant-garde, I just don't think they should be putting it in the 'horror' category. Keep it with the art films so at least you know you're supposed to be confused, okay?

How to explain this short and sweet without having you say 'Huh?' a lot... hmm... okay. We have a boy named Fenix who is a child magician in the circus with his mother, a trapeze artist and his father, a knife thrower. So you know he's probably already messed up in the head anyway. His father, an ugly pig of a man messes around with a tattooed lady to his mother's fury. For some reason, his father decides to make a man out of him by putting a phoenix on his chest, carving it with a knife and ink. Nice dad. 

His mother, tired of seeing his father cavort with the tattooed lady finally loses it and throws acid they just happen to have lying around on his genitals. Okay, so things are getting interesting. The naked, smoking (literally) man in a fury takes two of his knives and cuts off his mother's arms.

We have a weird scene of a church of the armless woman, called Santa Sangre of which his mother is a devout, uh, whatever, that is bulldozed down by the Catholic church as practicing heresy which has nothing to do with anything and is this supposed to represent Fenix's mother losing her arms and possibly her life or what? Don't expect any kind of explanation, there's none.

We constantly go back and forth, one moment Fenix is a man, naked in an asylum as they try to coax him out of a tree (Why the hell is there a tree in his room?) the next he's a child, the next he's a man but OUT of the asylum, killing women and for whatever reason painting them white before he covers them with dirt (he happens to dig the most perfect holes - rectangular just like a professional. Sigh. In other words, nothing is real and nothing makes sense. 

We even get a whole scene (when he's a kid) of an elephant from the circus dying. They go to the trouble and expense of a huge coffin (nice one too) for it, parade it through town, then just throw it in the city dump. Whaaa? The townspeople, just like rats leap on the coffin as soon as it hits bottom, breaking it open and chopping up the elephant, carrying off chunks of meat. Yum.

So supposedly since Fenix's mother has no arms, his arms are now 'possessed' by her and have to do as she says. He wears fake nails to make them look feminine, and hides behind her, making the expressive movements for her as she recites poetry, eats, or plays piano.

To save you more of this tripe (over two hours of it) lets just screech to the end: The police finally catch up to Fenix as the killer of all the women his mother 'commanded' her arms to kill. Phantoms from the circus show up to reveal to him that his mother was never alive (she didn't survive the arm slicing) and that he was manipulating some sort of life-sized ventriloquist dummy. They "help" him throw her down the stairs, breaking her hold on him forever. He then gives himself up, holding up his arms and realizing that they are finally his own.

No, I can't explain it better than that. This was a total rape of the eyes and brain - there is no logical anything to anything. I've heard this movie called a lot of wonderful things. I have a few choice words but I wouldn't call them wonderful. I'll take the high road and just remind you that I saw it so you don't have to.