Holy Terror

( 3 )

Overview

Anchor Bay Entertainment strikes gold yet again in its efforts to provide well-rounded releases of semi-obscure cult films with their release of Alfred Sole's creepy '70s religious-themed murder mystery Alice, Sweet Alice. Presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical aspect ratio, the image shows some grain and signs of age, with skin tones slightly light and washed out and occasionally annoying faults in the source material. These issues aside, the image shows little evidence of artifacting and offers ...
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Overview

Anchor Bay Entertainment strikes gold yet again in its efforts to provide well-rounded releases of semi-obscure cult films with their release of Alfred Sole's creepy '70s religious-themed murder mystery Alice, Sweet Alice. Presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical aspect ratio, the image shows some grain and signs of age, with skin tones slightly light and washed out and occasionally annoying faults in the source material. These issues aside, the image shows little evidence of artifacting and offers fairly vivid and evenly balanced coloring, making for an overall enjoyable presentation that easily outshines any number of out-of-print videocassettes. The English Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack is fair but unremarkable, though it makes adequate use of Stephen Lawrence's effectively creepy score. Extra features offer a surprisingly pleasant Sole sitting in with editor Edward Sailer in a commentary track that discusses innovation due to budgetary constraints, the casting of Brooke Shields, and shooting techniques, among other things. Sole expresses abundant and refreshing gratitude to Sailer and the crew who worked on the film, often giving them the majority of credit for the many memorable and effective scenes. The inclusion of the creepy alternate opening credits (under the title Communion) is a welcome addition, and a still gallery offers a seven-minute montage of production stills and related news clippings set to the score. Talent bios are basic though informative. Overall, Anchor Bay has effectively done it again, and fans of the film will certainly be happy with this informative and entertaining disc.
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Special Features

Widescreen presentation (1.85:1); Commentary with director Alfred Sole and editor Edward Sailer; Talent bios; Still gallery; Alternate opening credits
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Brooke Shields made her film debut at age 12 in this eerie, effective chiller from director Alfred Sole. However, her role can be summed up in one word -- cameo -- as she is quickly and shockingly strangled and burned to death. The fact that her murder is set on the occasion of her first Holy Communion only further serves to set the stage for a horror film with strong Roman Catholic overtones that could easily have become an Exorcist rip-off. Fortunately, the script by Sole and Rosemary Rityo is a Hitchcock-flavored murder-mystery that sustains suspense throughout and provides a couple of great surprises. The question of who killed Shields and committed the subsequent murders is answered at an unexpected juncture, but rather than defusing the tension, the revelation actually keeps the viewer guessing. This sets up the film's final act, which is beautifully carried on the backs of several first-rate performances including Mildred Clinton, Rudolph Willrich, and Linda G. Miller. Shields is not on the screen long enough to leave an impression, but fellow child actress Paula Sheppard is solid as the malicious Alice and Alphonso De Noble is over-the-top, but unforgettable as the disgustingly obese landlord she torments. Early Hollywood star Lillian Roth appears in a small role as a pathologist -- her first film performance in more than 40 years. From a technical standpoint, the film stands out for its strong murder sequences (certainly an influence on the slasher film craze), as well as for Stephen Lawrence's spine-tingling music score. The camera work by John Friberg and Chuck Hall is excellent and perfectly capture the chilly feel of the film and its Paterson, NJ, locations.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/24/1999
  • UPC: 013131066296
  • Original Release: 1976
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Time: 1:46:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Linda G. Miller Catherine Spages
Mildred Clinton Mrs. Tredoni
Paula Sheppard Alice Spages
Niles McMaster Dom Spages
Rudolph Willrich Father Tom
Jane Lowry Aunt Annie DeLorenze
Alphonso de Noble Mr. Alphonso
Brooke Shields Karen Spages
Tom Signorelli Detective Brennan
Lillian Roth Pathologist
Gary Allen Uncle Jim DeLorenze
Dick Boccelli Hotel Clerk
Mary Boylan Mother Superior
Sally Anne Golden Policewoman
Patrick Gorman Father Pat
Michael Hardstark Detective Spina
Louisa Horton Dr. Whitman, Psychiatrist
Antonino Rocco Funeral Attendant
Technical Credits
Alfred Sole Director, Screenwriter
John Friberg Cinematographer
Chuck Hall Cinematographer
John Lawless Production Designer
Stephen Lawrence Score Composer
Rosemary Rityo Screenwriter
Rick Rosenberg Producer
Edward Salier Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start Program/Main Titles [2:21]
2. The Mask [2:49]
3. Chasing Alice [2:18]
4. The Veil [:56]
5. The Landlord [1:28]
6. First Communion [3:46]
7. "She's Dead!" [3:24]
8. The Funeral [4:50]
9. Cake for the Landlord [2:15]
10. The Police Station [3:30]
11. The Priest and Her Father [2:11]
12. "Don't Hit Me!" [3:02]
13. "The Dead Have Wings" [3:28]
14. Stabbing Auntie [7:41]
15. "It Was Alice!" [4:17]
16. The Lie Detector [6:56]
17. The Children's Shelter [6:41]
18. Love in the Afternoon [7:05]
19. Murder at the River [6:48]
20. The Confessional [5:41]
21. The Confession [7:43]
22. In Her Room [3:49]
23. Roaches in a Jar [7:28]
24. A Murderous Communion [4:17]
25. End Credits [1:31]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Chapter Selections
   Extras
      Commentary
         Commentary With Director Alfred Sole and Editor Edward Salier: On
         Commentary With Director Alfred Sole and Editor Edward Salier: Off
      Talent Bios
         Alfred Sole
         Brooke Shields
      Still Gallery
      Alternate Opening Credits
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Recommended

    It's an old 70's horror movie but still holds up to what's out today.In fact better than some of the mess that's out today. I recommend if you have nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon just sit back and watch this movie you'll enjoy it, if your a fan of horror.If not at least you'll get a good nap.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It Delivers!

    Made in the 1970's but set in the early 1960's, this mystery thriller delivers on several levels. The time is the Kennedy years and this allows for the exploitation of all things Catholic, thus giving the film an opportunity for religious symbolism and oppression. It certainly works as a terrific little horror movie in the slasher genre. Humorous and grotesque characters fill out the roster for this very entertaining and well paced work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AMAZING and SCARY!!!

    think, a little girl Karen is receving communion and her older sister Alice is very jealous. then Karen is brutally murdered. and the prime suspect is Alice. this has to be one of the best slasher films i've ever seen!!!! it has suspense, some blood and jumpy parts!!! the mask is one of best effects of the movie because it has this realness to it and it is sooo freaky!!! but i give this movie a thumbs up!!

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews