Santa Sangre 1989 ***

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s mystical, violent meditations on life (El Topo, The Holy Mountain) are not for the faint-hearted, and his long-gestated comeback, Santa Sangre has the same surreal energy. A young Fenix (Axel Jodorowsky) is deeply traumatized by seeing his knife-throwing father cutting off his mother’s arms. Fenix has problems of his own as a result, and decides to revenge is mother by becoming her arms. Throw in such thematic oddities as a elephant funeral and Santa Sangre emerges as a surrealist classic, as bloody as any horror film but seemingly driven by a higher purpose. Produced by Claudio Argento, Dario’s brother, Santa Sangre is a limb-lopping, philosophical work that elicits admiration and disgust in equal measure.


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