Where Madness Meets Art: an Unsettling Saga

Read Time:4 Minute, 48 Second

Santa Sangre

NC-17 –     

Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Year Released: 1989, 2024 Severin Films 4K
Runtime: 2h 3m
Director(s): Alejandro Jodorowsky
Writer(s): Alejandro Jodorowsky, Roberto Leoni, Claudio Argento
Cast: Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell, Thelma Tixou, Sabrina Dennison, Adan Jodorowsky, Faviola Elenka Tapia, Teo Jodorowsky, Jesús Juárez
Where To Watch: available in the UK on July 29, 2024, here: www.severinfilms.com, or in the US here: www.amazon.com

RAVING REVIEW: SANTA SANGRE unfolds as an audacious blend of horror, surrealism, and psychological insight, uniquely created and explored by Alejandro Jodorowsky. In this film, Jodorowsky returns to the director’s chair after almost a decade, offering a narrative rich in thematic depth and visual intensity.

The film kicks off with Fenix (Axel Jodorowsky) being both literally and figuratively imprisoned in a mental institution, hinting at the complex psychological drama that is about to unravel. These initial moments are pivotal, as they establish the unsettling tone of the movie, drawing viewers into a world riddled with personal anguish and supernatural elements.

Digging into the depths of Fenix's past, we discover the traumatic events that have shaped his existence. His life within the circus is marred by family dysfunction, peaking in a shocking moment when his father, in a violent outburst, changes Fenix’s world forever. This brutal act forges a dark, twisted partnership between Fenix and his mother, thrusting them into a life filled with grim theatricality and nefarious actions.

The narrative structure intricately mixes flashbacks and surreal sequences that chart Fenix’s journey into the abyss of madness. Daniele Nannuzzi’s cinematography captures this descent with bold use of color and stark contrasts, creating a visual style that mirrors the film's nightmarish ambiance.

SANTA SANGRE transcends traditional horror, venturing into profound explorations of identity and legacy. The core of the movie is Fenix’s fraught relationship with his mother, which serves as a vehicle for broader reflections on trauma and human nature.

The film is peppered with a diverse array of characters, each contributing to the rich world of the story. Many of the characters, like the mysterious tattooed woman (Thelma Tixou,) the silent Alma (Sabrina Dennison,) and many other “stereotypical” circus performers of the era, challenge conventional norms of sanity and ethical boundaries.

Influences from Jodorowsky’s varied background in performance art are evident throughout the film, lending a theatrical quality that enhances the storytelling. Jodorowsky's work echoes cinematic greats like Federico Fellini and Luis Buñuel, reflecting a shared affinity for exploring societal taboos and personal anomalies. SANTA SANGRE is more than just a spectacle; it is a thought-provoking journey that invites viewers to reconsider their perceptions of reality and insanity.

SANTA SANGRE offers a distinctive mix of genres for those daring enough to dive into its complexities. It stands as a profound addition to the field of avant-garde cinema and serves as an engaging gateway into Jodorowsky’s imaginative realm. This film promises not just to entertain but also to engage the mind and stir the emotions. Now, those in the UK can experience the movie in its most complete presentation ever, as Severin Films turns this release up to 11 with the stunning restoration and more extras than you could imagine!

DISCS 1 & 2                   

Feature, Trailer, Deleted Scenes & Jodorowsky Restoration Featurette
Audio Commentary with Alejandro Jodorowsky and Journalist Alan Jones
New Blood – Alejandro Jodorowsky on the restoration of SANTA SANGRE
Deleted Scenes with Director Commentary
Theatrical Trailer
DISC 3       
Forget Everything You Have Ever Seen: The World of Santa Sangre – Feature Length Documentary with co-writer / director Alejandro Jodorowsky, Actors Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Thelma Tixou, Sabrina Dennison, Adan Jodorowsky, Elenka Tapia, Teo Tapia, co-writer Roberto Leoni, composer Simon Boswell, tattoo designer Sergio Arau and unit publicist Greg Day.
Like A Phoenix – Interview with producer Claudio Argento
Holy Blood – Interview with cinematographer Danielle Nannuzzi
Mexican Magic – Interview with executive producer Angelo Iacono
The Language of Editing – Interview with editor Mauro Bonanni
Innocence in Horror – Interview with screenwriter Roberto Leoni
Santa Sangre 30th Anniversary Celebration at Morbido Festival, Mexico City
Goyo Cárdenas Spree Killer – Documentary on the Real-Life Inspiration for SANTA SANGRE
Jodorowsky 2003 Interview
Jodorowsky on Stage Q & A
ECHECK – Adan Jodorowsky Short Film
Simon Boswell Interviews Jodorowsky
Close Your Eyes – Simon Boswell Music Video

DISC 4 (CD)                   
SANTA SANGRE Original Soundtrack

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[photo courtesy of SEVERIN FILMS]

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