Santa Sangre (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

Santa Sangre (1990)



Critic Consensus: Those unfamiliar with Alejandro Jodorowsky's style may find it overwhelming, but Santa Sangre is a provocative psychedelic journey featuring the director's signature touches of violence, vulgarity, and an oddly personal moral center.

Movie Info

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 brother Axel Jodorowski) is released from an insane asylum by his armless mother. She wants to go on a murderous revenge spree, and maybe play a little piano, and she needs Fenix to be her arms for both tasks. Though the film has some of the hallucinatory qualities of Jodorowsky's earlier films, Santa Sangre doesn't quite have the same punch, particularly in terms of cerebral and emotional impact, despite its fine visuals. Santa Sangre is available in both R-rated and NC-17 edits.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Horror, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Claudio Argento, Roberto Leoni, Alejandro Jodorowsky
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 28, 1991
Republic Pictures Home Video


Adan Jodorowsky
as Fenix, Age 8
Axel Jodorowsky
as Fenix, Age 20
Faviola Tapia
as Young Alma
Thelma Tixou
as Tattooed Woman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Santa Sangre

Critic Reviews for Santa Sangre

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (11)

You can say this: It is never boring.

Full Review… | November 15, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Santa Sangre's content puts it beyond the call of duty for even the most slavishly devoted art-house denizen.

Full Review… | November 15, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

What Jodorowsky lacks is a sense of humor, in the absence of which his films turn ludicrous.

Full Review… | November 15, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | November 26, 2012
AV Club
Top Critic

Visionary and haunting, Santa Sangre is a mixture of blood poetry and gobbledygook that keeps springing astonishingly to life.

Full Review… | November 26, 2012
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

The impression is of an old-school horror with sporadically interesting experimental ornamentation.

Full Review… | September 18, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Santa Sangre


Part Dario Argento, part Pedro Almodóvar, part Quentin Tarantino. What a macabre work of art!

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


A new favorite of mine.

Michael S

Super Reviewer


Once you make it through the first half, there's plenty of good creepy, strange, and disturbing material. But you have to make it through the first half to get there.

Daniel J DeMersseman

Super Reviewer

Santa Sangre Quotes

– Submitted by Alexandar T (3 years ago)

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