Santa Sangre

Santa Sangre ★★★½

I regretted this choice less than I thought I would, based on my lack of enthusiasm for The Holy Mountain; it's clearly the same madman behind Santa Sangre, but I'm a lot more impressed now by Jodorowsky's ability to draw suspense out of a collage of bizarre images. The narrative sense is still surreal and nonlinear, but it's tighter, more purposeful, and ultimately more effective, even if a lot of this still resides in the realm of "important imagery" rather than "things I understand." Axel Jodorowsky has a remarkable ability to act with his face and his arms separately, which is a skill that allows him to thrive in a carnival environment like this one: it's an abstract freak show, a parade of trauma and sacrilege, a vessel for the unhinged ravings of a deeply disturbed man who is either the main character of this movie or Alejandro Jodorowsky himself.

I'm still on the side that would frame Jodorowsky as a lunatic and not a genius, but the colorful violence splattered all over Santa Sangre certainly pushes his vision into terms that I can understand for once, and it seems appropriate to see Claudio Argento as a co-writer, for there are shades of his brother Dario evident in this film.

This fulfills the following Hooptober 8 criteria:
- 6 countries (Mexico)
- 8 decades (1980s)

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