Juan L. Moctezuma's 'Alucarda' is a film that I'd long been wanting to see. Having read scarce but fascinating information on the production and seen some very salacious still images from the film my curiosity had got the better of me, so when Mondo Macabro announced this as their debut release I was more than anxious to get the opportunity to check it out.
The film opens with the newly born child Alucarda being taken to the local convent/orphanage to be placed in the care of the ever so slightly fanatical god fearing nuns that preside over the children there. Following the opening titles we cut to eighteen years later where we meet newly orphaned Justine being welcomed to the convent, the now teenage Alucarda soon hooks up with the impressionable Justine and the two become the closest of friends. Going about their girlie business of skipping through the forest hand in hand, the girls happen upon a Catweazle-esque gypsy who warns them of the demons that inhabit the wilderness. Unpeturbed the girls head off only to find an old abandoned tomb, where the death obsessed Alucarda persuades Justine to join her in a loving death pact. Soon after this Alucarda opens one of the tombs and they are overcome with a strange supernatural presence.
Later, Alucarda goes on a satanic bender spinning around like she's watched the Exorcist one time too many before the aforementioned supernatural gypsy reappears and encourages the girls to indulge in some satanic lesbo blood ritual. This they do and before heading off to the woods to get stuck into a full blown demonic orgy with a demon and his horny hairy followers.
Some time after back at the convent the nuns (clad in menstrual blood soaked gowns) are delivering one of their popular 'burn in hell' sermons to the terrified captive child audience. Alucarda and Justine though decide to spice things up with some fervent demonic chanting declaring their undying obedience to Satan, their dark lord (promising to do as much evil as they can!) This proves all too much for poor Justine and she collapses and ends up feverish in bed, while Alucarda goes from strength to strength by getting sent to confession only for her to use the opportunity to attack the priest and mess with his head.
Appalled by the chain of events, the priest and witless nuns cleanse themselves with a healthy dose of whip lashing and decide the only course of action to redeem themselves would be to conduct a good old fashioned exorcism on the demonic young girls. Will the girls be saved from their satanic peril? Or will they wreak bloody havoc on their holy charges?
After waiting for some time to finally see 'Alucarda' I have to say that I was not disappointed in any way whatsoever, in fact I enjoyed this one a lot more than I expected to. Moctezuma's film delivers more than enough horrific eye candy to sate most blood loving horror fans needs. Also, never having been a great fan of the nunsploitation genre I have to say that this is indeed one of the very best of this genre. With it's fine blend of satanic depravation, jabs at catholicism and bloody perversions - 'Alucarda' is a surprise gem of a movie that will in time generate a healthy following.
What is also fascinating to note (especially for UK readers) is the bewildering (but very welcome) fact that the BBFC have passed this cracker uncut! Sex, blood and satan never where a welcome mix at the censors table but here bloody holy whippings and lesbo blood orgys are a-ok with the gang at the board! Of course I'm ecstatic about this but their inconsistency with their decision making these days really does give the impression of confusion and disarray, surely in can only be a matter of time until they realise that their outdated victorian attitudes are no longer relevant in todays society? But as ever I digress, 'Alucarda' is indeed uncut and the films impact is all the better for it.
Mondo Macabro should be proud of their debut line of movies (and I'm sure they are) and genre fans in general wont be disappointed when adding these to their collection. The full screen print on show here looks great, vibrant and colourful showing off the blood reds very nicely indeed, both picture and audio relatively problem free.
As for extras, you can look forward to yet another episode of the cracking UK TV series of Mondo Macabro, here it is the episode that concentrates on the Mexican genre scene with lots of great interviews and cool clips from some of the key movies from the scene. Everything's covered here - from the professional wrestling superhero antics of El Santo and co to vintage horror classics like The Braniac and director Moctezuma's work with folk like Jodorowski. Folk curious to know more about Alucarda director Moctezuma will also find more than enough to keep them sated with extensive text pages containing not only the usual biography and filmography but also a great interview with the man himself. Most interesting here is the mention of a potential sequel 'Alucarda Rises From the Tomb' which could be very promising (unless Hollywood get their hands on it, cast Christina Ricci in the lead role and turn it into a Carrie/Exorcist rehash of course!) Rounding off the extras is a short but bloodily sweet stills gallery with some choice images from the film.
'Alucarda' is exactly the sort of vintage horror fun that we just don't see made anymore and Mondo Macabro have come up trumps with this excellent uncut presentation. Bloody good fun and a great disc to boot - highly recommended!
Review by Alan Simpson
'Alucarda' can be ordered direct from Mondo Macabro by clicking here.
|Released by Mondo Macabro|
|Region - All (PAL)|
|Rated - 18 (uncut)|
|Ratio - original full screen|
|Documentary on Mexican horror movies, Interview with director, stills gallery.|