Original Release Date: November 12, 1976
Directed by: Alfred Sole
Produced by: Richard K. Rosenberg and Alfred Sole
Screenplay by: Rosemary Ritvo and Alfred Sole
Set in 1961, a divorced catholic family’s life is flipped upside down when their youngest daughter is murdered during her First Communion, and their other daughter, Alice, is the main suspect.
I chose to review this film because to me Alice Sweet Alice (originally titled ‘Communion’) is an under-the-radar masterpiece. This religious slasher is like a combination of Halloween with The Exorcist or The Omen. Though some would argue that this film is a ‘Giallo’ (which also dominated in the 70’s), Director Alfred Sole claims that Italian Giallo cinema had no influence on his film.
This film revolves around a troubled 12-year-old girl named Alice Spages, who lives with her single mother Catherine and her younger sister Karen. Karen always seems to be the perfect little angel that gets all the attention from their mother, relatives and priest. Alice becomes the main suspect in her younger sisters death when she is brutally murdered in their family church during her First Communion. Catherine and Alice’s father Dominick fight to prove her innocence while everyone else believes she’s guilty, and it looks worse when the ones who believe she’s guilty start getting attacked. Everything about this film is unsettling – the murdering of a child in the Catholic Church, the eery little apartment building, and the creepy landlord are enough to send shivers down your spine throughout the film. Not to mention the thought of a 12-year-old girl running around viciously murdering people is enough to make you cringe. This film is very well done and it’s a terrific performance by actress Paula Shepard (Alice). This film is one of my personal favourites and I highly recommend it.
This film was first released at the Chicago International Film Festival in 1976 under it’s original title ‘Communion’, which would be changed in 1977 after the film was picked up by Allied Artists. Allied Artists worried that the original names would cause people to mistake it for a religious film.
Did you know: “Alice Sweet Alice” was the inspiration behind Slipknot frontman – Corey Taylor’s most recent mask? It was also custom made by Horror legend Tom Savini.
Kill count: 4
Movie Review: 7 out of 10
Gore Review: 7 out of 10