Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)**1/2 First Viewing
Long time ago, I heard an apocryphal story about a group of people dying after taking communion. They bled from the eyes, became ill and some died. Later it was “determined” they were not fully faithful and God was punishing them. I searched on the internet, but couldn’t find the story. I did find a page of happy communion tales, floating wafers, many blood-soaked wafers restoring the faith in this person or that. God sure is extremely selective.
Let’s pretend the “Bad people who took communion” story is true for a sec. I always think about the unintended consequences. Wouldn’t this mean that that particular sect of the Catholic church is the only true church? Or else eye bleeding would be through the roof in every church. And since the eye bleeding no longer happens, seems like the one true church no longer exists and we’re all going to hell. (Insert Apologetics here.)
In any event, God is one capricious SOB, haphazardly applying punishments and rewards, caring for some faithful by providing proof, but not most others. So the faithful is left to invent their own miracles in their own lives. God-believing miracles. In any event, if the whole eye-bleeding thing did happen, I’d never take communion ever again even if I thought I was true-blue believer (talking to you snake-handling guy who died last week) and I’d become an opthomologist.
Alice, Sweet Alice‘s story bookends with two Catholic communion services. Both end in death. That’d make you pay attention in church.
Weird older sister Alice actively hates her younger sister (Brooke Shields) and her upcoming First Communion. Her dad’s estranged, her mom clearly loves Brooke more, her aunt is a bitch. And she just started menstruating. Has a young girl in a horror movie not had her first period at a bad time.
So, is Alice the bad seed, a murderer? Clues point to yes, but also to other answers. If made today, I’m sure Alice would avoid the more Catholic/Faith aspects of the story and given us the twist ending we’ve already guessed because it’s in a million other movies.
While the movie lags in the middle, I didn’t see one twist coming. That’s good. There’s nothing great here, but it fits nicely in the giallo genre mixed with The Bad Seed with some nice imagery. Another post Exorcist movie. The acting is like a Pixies song—quiet, loud, quiet, loud, loud, loud.
Unfortunately, some of the good characters act out, not so much of love, but stupidity. I mean, if the person you’re looking for stabs you, make another plan. Warily calling out their name, not smart.
But, hey, Brooke Shields in her movie debut is tortured and killed at the top of the movie. That’s worth a star.
What I learned from Alice, Sweet Alice and other thoughts:
—Do not piss off the church staff on the phone, they hold a grudge.
—Yellow raincoats, with the exception of the Gorton’s fisherman, are always a harbinger of evil. Strike that, I know nothing about the Gorton’s fisherman.
—Has a creepy, morbidly obese pedophile downstairs landlord with stains on his shirt and underwear and a cat fetish ever made it out of a movie alive?
—Once again, puberty, the worse monster of all.
—Giant, sharpened butcher knives can be found practically everywhere.
—Catholic priests in movies are either Vatican 2 sexy-young or Vatican 1 older than God. No priests are 35 years old?
—Thank you, presidential pictures on government walls. You were the only way I knew this movie took place in 1962. (See every episode of X-Files)
—Can committing a sin erase other sins? Short answer, No, say every other movie ever made. Long answer, we all gotta try. We all gotta try.
—Yellow raincoats and that creepy clear plastic mask both come in multiple sizes, but when worn are all the same size to others.
Finally, Alice, Sweet Alice was brought to you by The Communion Wafer Council. “People are dying to have one, you’ll kill to get one. Communion Wafers.”
A note, Alice, Sweet Alice was supposed to be Aftermath (1994), but I couldn’t find a copy to watch. So, A,SA. And I watched it on YouTube. Public Domain fun.
Do it: The Electric Version by The New Pornographers. Solid, mid-to-up tempo power pop. If someone told me that this was their favorite album of all time, I could see it, it’s an album that a college student could latch onto and make it their own. While, there’s a sameness to some of the sound, the sameness is a likable sameness like a Ramones sameness. Wha? Another breezy Summah Album.
Avoid It: Everyone says I’m a cynical curmudgeon who doesn’t like anything, but this is the hardest section every day to come up with something to say.
The Tweeter: It’s about fifty-fifty, either I’m warming my hands or I’m cooling my balls with my hands. #die-a-beet-us.
The Facing Book: Wow, I saw Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma Thunder just walking around downtown today. Shouldn’t he be in Miami? Game five is tomorrow. Oh wait, sorry, pimply white kid wearing a jersey.
Bonus Comedy Filler:
I’m trying to use my restaurant savings card (POGO, the cheap guy’s mistress) up before it expires at the end of the month. So, I’ve been eating at Popeye’s Chicken a lot. Not good.
And like every other Fat American, the breaded fried chicken skin Is my favorite. I have a procedure, like an autopsy, for removing the skin. Breast chicken skin is the best. Once removed, I can either set it aside as a fatty dessert after being good (ie, eating the white chicken meat) or as an immediate fried chicken fat jolt to the stomach.
After staring at the mini-pile of chicken skin carcasses, a hoary old comic idea came once again to the forefront of my stomach…
Chickenskins, the all chicken skin-based restaurant. You know the drill. A buck a skin, ten bucks a bucket. Only the top of the breast. All ‘skins are double fried in chicken fat and then wrapped around the food of your choice and lightly fried again. Hamburger patties-chickenskin style. Carrots–fresh and chickenskinned.
You name the food and we’ll wrap it in Chickenskins goodness and refry it to seal in the flavor. Snicker bars, butter, ice cream, corn on the cob, you bring it in and we’ll ‘chicken skin’ it for less. We use a special chicken fat adhesive to stick our mouth watering skin onto any food for frying.
You haven’t lived until you’ve had our CS Soup and Salad. Ask for extra chicklets, the crumbled chicken skin from the still delicious underside of the breast. Our Kid’s Skins and CS Shakes are perfect for any kid above age three. ( A choking hazard may occur for kids under three.)
In our poorer neighborhoods, check out CS Skins, they may not be Grade A breasts, but skinned gizzards are just as tasty. Look for our caravan at your local state fair. Or keep an eye out for our Skins Street Team Food Truck. We’re so good, you’ll beg us to throw our skins into your car.
Also, Chickenskins always gives back. Behind every CS is a dumpster full of semi edible goodness for all of our homeless brethren. It’s self serve, a dollar a fistful. And dogs eat free, bones that is.
Chickenskins, we’ll peel the flavor off for ya!
Next Up: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Alien (1979), The 400 Blows (1959), or Africa Brasil by Jorge Ben (1976).