Alice Sweet Alice (1976)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

Alternate title:  Communion

USA, 1976.  .  Screenplay by , Alfred Sole.  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

A wonderful plot is ruined by terrible direction in this cultish curiousity, one whose initial release was saved from complete obscurity by the fact that it features the film debut of .  She is one of two daughters whose first communion is ruined when she is murdered by someone in a yellow raincoat and mask who resembles her older, jealous sister ().  The aftermath of the child’s death is rife with more gruesome violence against the family, including the girls’ shrieky aunt (an unapologetically ripe ), their errant father, and the obese landlord () who lives on the floor below.

It’s a seventies horror movie with all the trappings of B-status and as such should not be expected to match the quality of great art, tapping as it does into memories of The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby without attempting the polish of either of those films.  The problem is that it is never scary or shocking, failing miserably on its own terms and not when compared to better stuff from the era.  Petite Sheppard was actually 19 when she shot the film, and only ever appeared in one more movie, Liquid Sky in 1982, before abandoning her acting career.


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