Santa Sangre (Axel Jodorowsky) is a macabre horror tale surrounding a small circus where Fenix worked as magician when he was a young boy. His dad, Orgo, was the manager and a knife thrower who also had a large appetite for women. Concha, Fenix's mother, was in charge of a small cult that has gone into submission to a made-up saint whose arms were cut off and body raped. When Concha caught Orgo cheating on her she attacked Orgo who in rage cut off Concha's arms followed by him slitting his own throat, and the whole gruesome event was witnessed by Fenix. Fenix was institutionalized as he deeply suffered from the traumatic experience. Years later his armless mother returns and helps him escape and together they become a murderous duo of enormous proportions.
Jodorowsky created a bizarre psychedelic horror story that visually connects the characters in a very sublime manner, which seems to seep into the subliminal consciousness of the audience. The cinematic signs and syntaxes used in the film enhance the connection between the characters instead of the elaborately prolonged dialogues that often connect the characters in many films, which also is a trade mark of regular stage plays. The young miming trapeze girl with a white painted face whom Fenix adored as a child, the tattoo's, and the symbolic knife are some examples of Jodorowsky cinematic genius as he enters the minds of the audience with this terrifying tale. It is interesting to see that Jodorowsky casted his son as the lead character, which he performs elegantly. In the end the audience is to experience a dazzling cinematic event as it brings the audience suspense, horror, desire, and much more to think about as the film unfolds.
Santa Sangre is essentially a horror film. It is not as overwhelmingly allegorical as his earlier works (Fando Y Lis, El Topo, Holy Mountain), but it is nothing to dismiss either. In fact, of all his works, this would have to be my favourite.
It is in print on DVD in UK markets (Anchor Bay distributed it). All of Jodorowsky's movies can be purchased on PAL DVD from XploitedCinema.com. If you want Jodorowsky buttons, visit my website, www.deadrabbit.org. :)
If you can't view PAL videos, make sure you buy the NC-17 version of the film (there are R versions in circulation).
If you are curious, the film IS in English. That is actually the intended language... though some of it is dubbed. The Spanish prints are mono.