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Santa sangre (Holy Blood) (1989)

tomatometer

85

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 6

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.

70

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 3

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.

audience

87

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 7,039

My Rating

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

Mar 28, 1991

Republic Pictures Home Video

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All Critics (39) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (6) | DVD (9)

You can say this: It is never boring.

November 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

September 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Mel Brooks of vulgar surrealism, Jodorowsky's basic principle is that if you throw 30 outrageous ideas at the audience, 2 or 3 are bound to make an impression.

February 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While it's not especially easy viewing, and unquestionably not for all tastes, Santa Sangre is exhilarating, challenging, enigmatic and distressing, but entirely rewarding and entertaining.

November 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Starburst

More extravagant, but less controlled than his infamous allegorical western, El Topo.

November 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

What's probably most amazing about Santa Sangre is that most of it works, and almost never does it feel like it's being unsettling just for the sake of it.

November 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Bullz-Eye.com
Bullz-Eye.com

The most accessible film by Mexican avant-garde auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky, his horror head-scratcher divides its time between the sanitarium and the circus.

November 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

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.

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

When one discusses the artform's icons, Alejandro Jodorowsky must be mentioned.

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Santa Sangre has ample affection for outcasts and much to say about religious hypocrisy.

September 25, 2012 Full Review Source: The List
The List

Not as good as his previous El Topo, but pretty eye-opening all the same.

September 21, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Promoted with the apt slogan 'Forget everything you have ever seen', Jodorowsky's film takes no prisoners, except maybe for purposes of torture.

September 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep

Jodorowsky's bold, brassy tale of psychos and circuses, Freud and fanaticism, still stirs the blood.

September 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

What an extraordinary film: creepy, humid, unwholesome - touched with moments of crazed inspiration.

September 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

[A] red-hot Jungian gumbo of clowns, nuns, amputated arms and a dead elephant.

September 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Masterfully directed and relentlessly lurid, Santa Sangre somehow manages to make Jodorowsky's acid western El Topo look sane.

September 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

A ridiculous, pretentious, fascinating, and unforgettable horror film from one of cinema's true originals.

February 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A surreal circus of invention, pretension and astonishment that, like many carnivals, touts the talents of its performers but knows most customers came to gawk at the freaks.

February 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Audience Reviews for Santa sangre (Holy Blood)

Part Dario Argento, part Pedro Almodóvar, part Quentin Tarantino. What a macabre work of art!
April 28, 2012
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

A new favorite of mine.
October 6, 2010
YLOWBSTARDreturns

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.
August 9, 2010
djdemersseman

Super Reviewer

In between hallucinations a young man kills at the telepathic command of his armless mother. Jodoworsky's takes a stab at making a surrrealist slasher flick, and the result is his most accessible film.
March 4, 2010
366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

    1. Concha: You can't atone for your sins with nightmares.
    – Submitted by Alexandar T (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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