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By James Whittington, Sunday 3rd June 2018
Alice, Sweet Alice
A superior slice of 70s grindhouse has been given the 2K restoration treatment from 88 Films. Also known as Holy Terror (as it is on this transfer) Alice, Sweet Alice was released in 1976 and was the first movie for Brooke Shields. It was re-released a few years later and re-titled as Communion to cash in on her fame.When ten-year-old Karen (Shields) is killed in church on the occasion of her first communion, her seemingly innocent older sister Alice (Paula Sheppard) becomes the prime suspect. Matters become complicated as more of Alice#s family members are attacked, along with residents of her apartment building. Can a twelve-year-old girl be capable of such mayhem, or is someone else with a vicious plan destroying her family?
Alice, Sweet Alice is a tough film to watch, not because its badly acted or badly directed but because of the theme of the movie and how its shot. It's an incredibly raw piece, filmed as if invading a private situation, watching a family disintegrate and watching the death of a child is always a distressing thing on screen. The characters are high on emotions, nerves are being stretched, paranoia is ever present, and the stench of death is constant.
Though wonderfully restored the film retains its deliberately bleached tone that makes the viewing experience even more coarse. Its not overly bloody but it doesn't need to be to shock the viewer, its atmosphere is enough to be disturbing plus has a cracking ending. This is no ordinary slasher as the key to it isn't the death sequences but the thought and themes of why this nightmare happened in the first place.
Extras include an audio commentary by Director Alfred Sole and Editor Edward Salier, original trailer, "Communion" TV spot, poster and home video artwork gallery, restoration comparison and reversible sleeve.
Fans of 70s cinema will be wise to view this piece, its not your usual slasher and really does deliver thanks to a tight script and some solid performances. Horror fans will appreciate how a classic has been given such an amazing restoration from 88 Films.
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