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Alice Sweet Alice
Communion / Holy Terror / First Communion

USA 1976
produced by
Rick Rosenberg, Alfred Sole for Harristown Funding
directed by Alfred Sole
starring Linda Miller, Mildred Clinton, Paula Sheppard, Niles McMaster, Jane Lowry, Rudolph Willrich, Michael Hardstark, Alphonso DeNoble, Gary Allen, Brooke Shields, Louisa Horton, Tom Signorelli, Lillian Roth, Patrick Gorman, Kathy Rich, Ted Tinling, Mary Boylan, Joseph Rossy, Argentina Rocca
written by Rosemary Ritvo, Alfred Sole, music by Stephen Lawrence

review by
Dale Pierce

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Murder within a Catholic church. When young Karen, played by Brooke Shields in an early role, is murdered after communion, suspicion falls on her strange sister, Alice, played by Paula Sheppard. The body count continues to rise as this tiny figure in a raincoat and mask makes its way from killing to killing, with each incident further heaping suspicion on Alice. In the end, shock of shocks, it isn't her after all, but a jaded church worker, played by Mildred Clinton. As she is found out, she goes to the church to take communion and receive absolution for her sins, but is denied, after which she simply drives her knife through the priest's neck, leaving no doubt in anyone's mind who the real lunatic has been all along.

Run as Alice, Sweet Alice in its original release, several issues took place afterward, with editing and retitling. The film became First Communion, Communion and Holy Terror, all reworked and badly cut editions, while the VHS and TV releases were even worse. One would have thought the fanatical killer had jumped out of the screen and been allowed to slice and dice the movie all to hell. As Shields became a star, reissues saw her name on the posters as a leading character role,  which of course she was not in this project. Hey, can you say capitalizing on a trend?

Most illogically is the editing out of the murder scene of famed wrestler, Argentina Rocca, who had a cameo role. In the original movie, he is seen sitting in his living r oom, reading the newspaper, when he crosses paths with the killer, gets knifed and that's the end of him. It was done just to get olden day wrestling fans to watch the thing, supposedly, and because Rocca knew some cast members. He does not last long in the movie and dies violently, with blood spurting more viciously than in any bout he ever had with Dick the Bruiser or Dr Jerry Graham. Maybe he should have dropkicked the killer.

Alphonso DeNoble, one of the most grotesque character actors ever, plays an utterly repulsive role as a fat, sloppy landlord with a liking for little girls. He has crappy underwear, dirty teeth, a leer that could give the strongest of people nightmares and when he gets his, you find yourself cheering for the crazed killer.

Hopefully a restored version with all the scenes in the original release will see the light of day, if it has not done so already. In all, not a bad slasher flick, interesting for the smaller roles by Rocca, Shields and DeNoble, none of whom last long or die pleasantly.

At the time, the Catholic church did not think much of this movie or its portrayal of their religion, which sees many little potshots and slaps directed its way. If you view it right, there is something to offend everyone, regardless of your vice or virtue, which again, makes the movie interesting, long after it first hit the big screen.

 

review © by Dale Pierce

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD