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[31][32] Though playing a 12-year-old, Sheppard celebrated her 19th birthday during the shoot in early July 1976. ( Log Out /  [21] Although many critics have drawn comparisons to Italian giallo films and the works of Dario Argento in particular, Sole claimed to have not seen Argento's work at the time. If you are looking for a surreal story about people living in a dirty depressing world this might be a good choice. There, he spots the raincoated figure, and follows it into the building. Previous WW Features: Penitentiary; Skatetown USA; Blood Games; The Last Match; Invasion of the Bee Girls; Julie Darling; Shanty Tramp; Coffy; Lady Terminator; Day of the Dead; The Kentucky Fried Movie; Gone With the Pope; Fright Night; Aliens; Future-Kill; Ladies and Gentlemen…The Fabulous Stains; Pieces; Last House on the Left; Pink Flamingos; In the Mouth of Madness; Evilspeak; Deadly Friend; Don’t Look in the Basement; Vampyres; She; Dolls. The troubling murmurs become so overwhelming that even Alice’s pretty, distraught mother, Catherine (Linda Miller), begins to believe them. Numerous film scholars have noted the film's hysterical portrayal of Catholicism and religious institutions to be in direct conversation with the motives of its villain, Mrs. Tredoni, whose ultimate goal is to "punish" the sinning members of her parish; this has resulted in some claiming the film to be overtly "anti-Catholic". "[20] Despite this, he conceded: "Linda is an excellent actor; they all are. [20], Sole was also influenced by the works of Alfred Hitchcock, as well as the 1955 French film Les Diaboliques, while assembling compositions in the film. Set in 1961 New Jersey, the film focuses on a troubled adolescent girl who becomes a suspect in the brutal murder of her younger sister at her first communion, as well as in a series of unsolved stabbings that follow. New Jersey, 1961. The narrative makes little sense and borrows a pretty heavy plot point from the 1973 film Don’t Look Now so it’s safe to assume there will be spoilers for that film as well. [1] Columbia Pictures signed on to distribute the film in the United States, and secured a book tie-in by author Frank Lauria,[52] which was eventually published in 1977 by Bantam Books. I mentioned above that the gross factor is prevalent here and it continues for no reason. After being acquired by Allied Artists, it was re-titled Alice, Sweet Alice, and released in the United States on November 18, 1977. (1969), an earlier film that blended horror with familial drama between siblings. [45] Exteriors of the church were shot at St. Michael's Parish in Newark and the First Presbyterian Church in Paterson (demolished two years after filming),[46] while the church interiors were filmed inside a hospital chapel. Dominic and Father Tom happen to pull up at the same time, in Father Tom's car. "[12] Hogan views the film as an extension of such features as What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? It left me, again, wondering if this script had been revised and certain points removed. [1] The stairwell interiors of the Spages' apartment building were filmed inside the historic former home of manufacturer John Ryle. Literal Interpretation: The ending may suggest that Alice has gained the power to bring Wonderland over into the real world and holds power in both places. The film was first released in 1976 under the title Communion before being released in 1978 with the above title, and again in 1981 as Holy Terror. Just my opinion. Alice, still having not received communion, walks out of the church and pulls out the knife briefly, fondling the handle and smiling to herself (insinuating that Alice might one day adopt Mrs. Tredoni's murderous killing spree herself). | [26] For her audition, Shields was required to mime as though she were being strangled to death. Roger Ebert gave the film a favorable review, stating: "Director Alfred Sole has a brilliant touch for the macabre and there are some splendidly chilling scenes,"[64] while US Magazine called the film a "superior modern Gothic thriller. [24] Because of the repeated starts and stops, the production had to recurrently hire new cameramen; Sole estimated that a total of six different cameramen worked on the film. The second victim is Annie (Jane Lowry) – Alice’s overly hateful aunt, who is jumped on the stairs and stabbed in the knee, foot, and thigh. [49], For the film's special effects, which included multiple murder sequences by bludgeoning and stabbing, Sole hired friend William Lustig, who would later direct the cult horror film Maniac (1980). "[70], Despite favorable reviews, numerous critics deemed the film obscene due to its violent and religious content, among them Linda Gross of the Los Angeles Times, who, though praising of Sheppard and Shields's performances, summarized the film as "foul...  Alice, which offers 105 minutes of atrociousness and bloody homicides perpetrated upon children by other children and infirm adults, is an obscenity. He praises her for the care she has given himself and the other priests, and she is ecstatic when he calls her a friend.The next day, Catherine becomes worried when she does not hear from Dominic, and she goes to the rectory to look for him; she reasons that since he has been borrowing Father Tom's car, he may be there. Mrs. Tredoni clutches Father Tom to her as he dies, his blood pouring over the yellow rain slicker. [34], Of the supporting cast, Alphonso De Noble, a New Jersey native, was cast as the sleazy landlord after director Sole had seen him impersonating a priest in local cemeteries. [5] The release of the film resulted in obscenity charges being brought against him in the state of New Jersey, as well as formal excommunication from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey; this event has been credited as influential to the apparent anti-religious bent of Alice, Sweet Alice.[6]. Dominick regains consciousness and sees that the killer is in fact Mrs. Tredoni, who chastises Dominick and Catherine as sinners over their premarital sex and eventual divorce. Simultaneously, Mr. Alphonso wakes up screaming, as Alice had mischievously placed a jar of cockroaches on him while he slept. In that film a couple is grieving over their daughter and hear of violent murders happening around them while at the same time the husband of the couple keeps seeing a girl in a red raincoat. At one point he actually tries to molest Alice. [41] While some newspaper sources stated the budget was $1 million,[42] Sole claimed the film ultimately cost $350,000. Fandango helps you go back to the movies with confidence and peace of mind. This release utilizes a 2k restoration of a 35mm print being the 1981 "Holy Terror" reissue and bearing said title card. She was played by the late Mildred Clinton. This Week at Weird Wednesday: A Thanksgiving Secret Screening! Turns out-Alice isn't so sweet. Labeling Alice, Sweet Alice a “slasher” is misleading. My skin crawled throughout this entire  film. Is it because she’s the youngest (if that’s the case I totally feel for Alice). The two began meeting during weekends and workshopping the screenplay together. The movie went on to be the sixth highest grossing film that week, and would receive another shot at theater-goers in 1981, under a third moniker: Holy Terror. It is a rejection of the body itself, but the body—its tongues, its teeth, its menstruation—will not be denied. Well in Alice Sweet Alice you discover the old housekeeper Mrs. Tredoni (Mildred Clinton) is the murderer! | Just before burning the body, the killer snatches the small cross that Karen wears around her neck, ripping the pendant from her body. [38], In the years after the film's release, Sole spoke favorably of Shields and Sheppard, though he recalled that much of the cast were "New York actors who were doing me a favor. Father Tom tells him that Alice has a knack for causing trouble and making it seem like an accident.Alice goes into the basement to her shrine, where she keeps her strange items, one of them being a jar full of large cockroaches, which she keeps alive by feeding them. When he makes inappropriate advances toward Alice and begins to touch her in a lewd manner, Alice, in retaliation, throttles one of the kittens and strangles it to death and yelling "you never do that again! Sole, whose first feature this is, knows how to direct actors, how to manipulate suspense and when to shift gears: the identity of the killer is revealed at just that point when the audience is about to make the identification, after which the film becomes less of a horror film than an exercise in suspense.

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