Watched Aug 22, 2012
Ronan Doyle’s review:
Oh. My. Jod(orowsky). For its poster, for its great tagline—"Forget everything you have ever seen"—for its reputation as one of those mental horror movies that's impossible to forget, Santa Sangre has remained on my radar for ages. I'm not sure I can ever forgive myself for waiting so long to see it. Within five minutes I was aching from laughter, the brutally barbed religious satire instantly reminding me of Buñuel's L'Age d'Or. Jodorowsky's film is funny throughout, but it's frightening in equal measure, his incredible ability to flip between the two one of his strongest suits as a director. This, as much as any film I can remember seeing, is the perfect proof that great horror lies not in the concept, but in its execution: consider the story, of a man dominated by his mother and twisted by the events of his youth, who yearns to break free from his psychological issue and run off with the beautiful girl next door. It's so familiar as to be positively cliche, yet Jodorowsky is able to make of it something astoundingly unique and utterly gripping. He has a wonderful command of space, working with large rooms and dark shadows in which his often gory horrors take place, the camera always doing something interesting to highlight the mental state of the characters. The scene with the snake might be the funniest thing I've seen in a horror film; it says so much of Jodorowsky's abilities that it's also quite touching, harrowing, and deeply tragic.