Santa sangre (Holy Blood)
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Circus horrors cross over into the mundane world in this terrifying, psychedelic film from Alejandro Jodorowsky, the man who brought you the infamous El Topo. Fenix (Adan Jodorowsky, the director's son) is the son of a circus strongman (Guy Stockwell) and an aerialist (Blanca Guerra). One night, the mother sees from her high perspective that her husband is fooling around with the tattooed lady. She later confronts him and throws acid on him in retaliation. He saws off her arms in return and kills himself. Fenix, witness to all this, runs away raving. Years later, Fenix (now played by older… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"You can say this: It is never boring."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Drawing on his training in mime and his fascination with Gnosticism, Jodorowsky converted a story about a bizarre murderer into a grand work of art, full of symbols and imagery that reach beyond language to something primal and original."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"While it's not especially easy viewing, and unquestionably not for all tastes, Santa Sangre is exhilarating, challenging, enigmatic and distressing, but entirely rewarding and entertaining."
‑ Martin Unsworth, Starburst
"The most accessible film by Mexican avant-garde auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky, his horror head-scratcher divides its time between the sanitarium and the circus."
‑ Matt Glasby, Total Film
"Not as good as his previous El Topo, but pretty eye-opening all the same."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Santa Sangre's content puts it beyond the call of duty for even the most slavishly devoted art-house denizen."
‑ Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times
"Visionary and haunting, Santa Sangre is a mixture of blood poetry and gobbledygook that keeps springing astonishingly to life."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"More extravagant, but less controlled than his infamous allegorical western, El Topo."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"When one discusses the artform's icons, Alejandro Jodorowsky must be mentioned."
‑ Bill Gibron, PopMatters
"Promoted with the apt slogan 'Forget everything you have ever seen', Jodorowsky's film takes no prisoners, except maybe for purposes of torture."
‑ David Cairns, Electric Sheep
"What Jodorowsky lacks is a sense of humor, in the absence of which his films turn ludicrous."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune
"The impression is of an old-school horror with sporadically interesting experimental ornamentation."
‑ Tom Huddleston, Time Out
"What's probably most amazing about Santa Sangre is that most of it works, and almost never does it feel like it's being unsettling just for the sake of it."
‑ Ross Ruediger,
"Santa Sangre has ample affection for outcasts and much to say about religious hypocrisy."
‑ Emma Simmonds, The List
"Jodorowsky's bold, brassy tale of psychos and circuses, Freud and fanaticism, still stirs the blood."
‑ Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
More reviews for Santa sangre (Holy Blood) on Rotten Tomatoes