Pete’s Peek | The cult 1980’s circus of horrors Santa Sangre pitches up on DVD and Blu-ray

Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s 1989 surreal circus of horrors Santa Sangre has been given a restored UK Blu-ray and DVD release from Mr Bongo. If you like your films twisted, bonkers and totally barmy, then this one is hard to beat.

The story
After several years locked up in a mental asylum, former circus performer Fenix escapes the facility and reunites with his supposedly dead mother, Concha – a religious fanatic who lost both her arms following a violent row with Fenix’s lecherous brute of a father. Fenix then becomes an instrument of death as Concha starts murdering any woman who Fenix meets. But when a young mute woman from his past re-enters his life, the troubled soul Fenix must try to break his mother’s influence – once and for all.

The lowdown
Sante Sangre is a visual visceral freakshow that hits all the right notes in the cult movie department. The crazy mother-son Freudian horror story has some great twists; the visual set pieces are like Fellini on acid (the elephant’s funeral is a stroke of genius, while the autistic kids snorting cocaine is just sick); the English-spoken dialogue is eminently quotable – I was shouting ‘Holy Blood!’ over and over by the end; and the performances strike the right balance of OTT campness and pathos.

The upshot
If you’ve never experienced a Jodorowsky film, then Santa Sangre is a great place to start before immersing yourself fully in the surrealist director’s insanely-addictive auteur. The release also includes a documentary about the Chilean film-maker, commentary and a humourous Q&A from 2002, plus an equally surreal Paris-set short by the film’s star, Adan Jodorowsky.

Available on DVD and Blu-ray, from Mr Bongo

Click here to watch Clip 1, Clip 2

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