HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
   
 
Newest Articles
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  Alice Sweet Alice Holy TerrorBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: Alfred Sole
Stars: Linda Miller, Mildred Clinton, Paula E. Sheppard, Niles McMaster, Jane Lowry, Rudolph Willrich, Michael Hardstark, Alphonso DeNoble, Gary Allen, Brooke Shields, Louisa Horton, Tom Signorelli, Lillian Roth, Patrick Gorman, Kathy Rich, Ted Tinling
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: Alice (Paula E. Sheppard) is a troubled child who is jealous of the attention her mother Catherine (Linda Miller) gives younger daughter Karen (Brooke Shields), so much so that she likes to bully her and then complain when Karen goes crying to their mother. It is almost time for the little girl's first Communion, and so Alice is taking every opportunity to upset her, including locking her in an abandoned factory, although she relents quickly when her sister starts to panic. But how deep do Alice's feelings of resentment travel? Would she be so psychopathic as to actually attack her - even kill her?

Alfred Sole did not make many films during his directorial career, but the ones he did offer the world were, it's safe to say, fairly distinctive. It's a tie between whether this film or his weirdo ape lust follow up Tanya's Island was the more memorable of his works, but few who see Alice Sweet Alice are likely to forget its peculiarly grim take on religion, specifically Catholicism which according to this spawns nothing but misery. Certainly nobody we see in this benefits from its influence, from Alice's dysfunctional family all the way to the New Jersey town's priest, Father Tom (Rudolph Willrich), who finds all his faith comes to naught in the face of the evil it has unleashed. But what the film asks us is, could a child be responsible?

Or is a child so twisted by the guilt the religion has brewed inside her mind that she is willing to turn to murder? What leads us to this question occurs in the first fifteen minutes, when at the Communion Karen is suddenly strangled by someone who looks like Alice in disguise: she wears the same bright yellow raincoat and has a mask covering her features that we have seen she likes to wear. However, we have also seen that her coat is widely bought, and those masks are on sale in a local store, so could it be that we are being misdirected? In truth, the final shot means that we are never one hundred percent sure, but there is a killer revealed who you could settle on as the culprit for every death depicted.

Nobody in the film saw that it was an Alice lookalike who killed Karen of course, so we are not as much in the dark as they are, not at first anyway. But Sole goes out of his way to make the viewer uncomfortable, from the grotesque landlord Mr Alphonse (the massively corpulent Alphonso DeNoble) to the violence, which looks uncomfortably realistic for such a low budget movie. It's a pity that the director opted to go for histrionics in the dramatic scenes, although to his credit the grief that Catherine exhibits feels genuine and understandable, but too many of the clashes between the characters end with lots of yelling. It could have been a tighter film in its suspense as well, as often the tension is allowed to slacken.

But in its favour, that tension never quite evaporates, even when perhaps too soon we see the identity of the killer. Whether Catholicism, or religious belief in general, can turn its adherents into raving slasher villains is debatable, after all there are millions of people who consider themselves religious who wouldn't dream of bumping anyone off, but this does not seem to have crossed Sole's mind when he was writing the film (with Rosemary Ritvo). Indeed, he comes across as having a real problem, an overwhelming grudge in fact, about the faith that informs the savagery of the behaviour it brings out. Scenes such as Alice's aunt, another who argues with her, getting stabbed in the legs and feet by the raincoat wearer are truly nasty, and that's only in the opening half of the story. It all boils down to how much the outlook that the characters cleave to can mess with your mind, and if it does create bigotry how far it will pollute your rationality. Music by Stephen Lawrence.

Aka: Communion
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3776 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: