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A bizarre love triangle turns deadly when circus ringmaster Orgo is caught with the tattooed lady by his wife Concha, an aerial performer. A furious Concha spills acid on Orgo, he then mutilates her and then takes his own life. Their impressionable son, Fenix, who witnessed the carnage, is committed to an institution and treated for insanity. His armless mother eventually springs Fenix from the hospital, only to use him as her method of exacting revenge on the world for her unfortunate circumstances. Violence begets violence. A strange, horrific and unforgettablel film by Alejandro Jodorowsky.
This is one of my all time favorite movies - I consider it one of the greatest items from the crossover zone between arthouse, cult movie and taboo-breaking horror, along with Polanski's "Repulsion", Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" and Lynch's "Blue Velvet". Technically Jodorowsky, who's spent more of his career writing influental French sci-fi graphic novels than directing movies (I guess movie producers can be forgiven for being a bit nervous about financing his stuff), may not be quite as accomplished as the three other directors I mentioned, but the sheer power of the story helps making this movie completely memorable. There are some obvious influences here from Fellini, Bunuel, George Romero, Hitchcock's "Psycho" etc, but Jodorowsky is enough of a visionary to make the end result seem completely original: an accessible, entertaining and moving freudian magical realist splatter horror movie. (and if you want an appreciation of the movie from a better writer than me, use Google to locate Roger Ebert's perceptive review of Santa Sangre from his "The Great Movies" series.
Set in Mexico, Alejandro Jodorowsky's cult classic Santa Sangre tellsthe story of Fenix, the young son of circus owner and strongman The Great Orgoand his aerial performer wife, Concha, the mystic leader of Santa Sangre('Holy Blood'), a cult of women dedicated to the worship of an armlessfemale saint whose limbs were severed when a man attacked her. Fenix's family istorn apart when Concha catches her husband having sex with the Tattooed Lady.
As punishment for his infidelity, Concha douses Orgo with acid, for which hetakes revenge by cutting off her arms before committing suicide. A witness tothese horrific events, Fenix is severely traumatised and winds up in an asylumfor the insane. Years later, he is rescued by his mother who, against his will,forces him to 'become her arms' and drives him to embark on a grislykilling spree, murdering any woman to whom he becomes attracted.