one of the first slashers, a cult reference film (on Blu

Blu-ray Alice Sweet Alice 00

Artistic note: Red StarRed StarRed Starhalf red stargray star(3.5/5)

Synopsis

Alice Spages, 12, lives with her mother and her sister Karen, whom she loves to scare. Karen is about to celebrate her first communion when her body is found horribly mutilated in the church. Some think that Alice could be behind the murder, but how could such a young child commit such an abomination? However, the murders continue in Alice’s entourage.

• Original title: Communion
• Media tested: Blu-ray
• Genre: horror
• Year: 1976
• Director: Alfred Sole
• Cast: Linda Miller, Niles McMaster, Mildred Clinton, Rudolph Willrich, Paula Sheppard, Michael Hardstark, Jane Lowry, Alphonso DeNoble, Brooke Shields
• Duration: 1 h 46 min 59
• Video format: 16:9
• Cinema format: 1.85/1
• Subtitling: French
• Soundtracks: DTS-HD MA 2.0 monophonic English, French
• Bonus: Digipack with sheath containing the Blu-ray (106 mn 59) and the DVD of the film (102 mn 43) – booklet “Le Bon Dieu sans confession” (20 pages) – Alice in Horrorlandpresentation of the film by Gilles Gressard, writer and film historian (2022, 24 mn 03)
• Publisher: Rimini Editions

Art commentary

Communion in original version, Alice Sweet Alice in VF (also known under the titles bloody communion, Tender Alice, etc.) was directed in 1976 by Alfred Sole, director of five feature films who committed suicide in February 2022. This cult horror film is his first realization on a clever screenplay he co-wrote with Rosemary Ritvo . Indeed, if the theme of the evil child is not new to the cinema, Alice Sweet Alice casts doubt on the actions of Alice (Paula Sheppard) in the context of the omnipresent Catholic religion. This twelve-year-old girl, decked out in a bright yellow raincoat (directly inspired by Nicolas Roegg’s film Don’t look back1974) and wearing a painted translucent mask (intended for children for Halloween in 1950), announces well before its rise the genre of the psychopath of slasher wielding the kitchen knife. Filmed in New Jersey and set in 1960 under President John F. Kennedy, Alice Sweet Alice aligns a whole cast of characters with fragile, even disturbed psychology, except the too sweet and cute Karen (Brooke Shields in her first film): the rebellious Alice, the monstrous Alphonso (Alphonso DeNoble non-professional actor), the sisters, Catherine Spages ( Linda Miller), Alice and Karen’s pretty mother, and their suspicious aunt Annie (Jane Lowry), not to mention Father Tom (Rudolph McMaster) and the vicarage maid, Mrs. Tredoni (Mildred Clinton). In this myriad of protagonists, many will succumb atrociously during very traumatic gore scenes for the spectators of the 70s. All the skill of the film is to paint the portrait of a rebellious preteen, prey to her budding sexuality and refers to as the serial killer. We must salute here the talent of the young Paula Sheppard (who was actually 19 years old!) able to embody this rebellious young girl, apparently a bit perverse and devoured by jealousy. A key element of the film is its context, the religious institution and the bigotry, whose harmful influence will be understood. Moreover, everything begins during a communion ceremony bereaved by a spectacular first crime. The close relationships of certain characters (Catherine, Madame Tredoni) with the clergy are too intimate to be honest: with talent, Alfred Soles explores without restraint the troubled situations that can arise from this ambient religiosity, making the weight of sin, guilt and repentance. Failed to exit, Alice Sweet Alice will only become a cult film, with recognized originality, thanks to the distribution of video on cassettes. A slasher reference.

Blu-ray Alice Sweet Alice

Technical Comment

Image : HD copy, excellent definition and solid sharpness on the details, fine and homogeneous film texture (shooting in 35 mm, Master Format 2K), very clean and bright image, superb contrast management, sustained blacks, warm naturalistic color grading, dapper colorimetry with bright hues and saturated tones

His : English 2.0 monophonic mix, clear and distortion-free dialogues, superb dynamics on the distressing atmospheres, the scenes in the church and on the music of Stephen Lawrence; VF 2.0 monophonic, clear, dynamic, balanced old dubbing

Our opinion

Image : Red StarRed StarRed StarRed Starhalf red star(4.5/5)
Sound mixes: blue Starblue Starblue Starblue Stargray star(4/5)
Bonuses: Red StarRed StarRed Stargray stargray star(3/5)
Packaging: blue Starblue Starblue Starhalf blue stargray star(3.5/5)

IMDb :

Digipack Blu-ray/DVD available on Amazon

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one of the first slashers, a cult reference film (on Blu-ray and DVD)