Alice, Sweet Alice aka Communion aka Holy Terror (1976)

directed by alfred sole
harristown funding/allied artists

This is a weird one, the kind of movie they really don’t make anymore. Kind of an American giallo, it also pays homage in a way to Don’t Look Back by Nicolas Roeg, complete with the signature rain slicker. (I have never seen Don’t Look Back, but am well aware of its tropes.) A familial study in more than one way – WHAT is her sister’s problem? WHERE is daddy? – the fun really begins when Brooke Shields is murdered during her First Holy Communion (oh, all right, the character she plays is). So what’s up with that priest, anyway? The SHOCKING reveal in this one mostly works, especially because at least one important ambiguity remains unexplained; also, some of the criminal acts in the film seem to arise mainly from malevolence or ill nature, not particularly to further serve the plot. There’s even a John Waters aspect to parts of this feature. Creepy and effective.

why did i watch this movie?

You know, I’m not entirely certain. I had come across the name several times while reading horror film histories, I know that. (“Alice, Sweet Alice,” that is, neither of the other two.)

should you watch this movie?

It’s a bit dated, to be sure, and I wouldn’t necessarily put it at the top of the “To See” list, but it is worth viewing.

highlight and low point

The varied acting performances on display are all well-accomplished, although more than one character occasionally seems too broadly drawn. The Roman Catholic focus may also throw some.

rating from outer space: B

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