Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Alice Sweet Alice|
Actors: Linda Miller, Mildred Clinton, Paula E. Sheppard, Niles McMaster, Jane Lowry
Director: Alfred Sole
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
When ten-year-old Karen (Brooke Shields) is killed in church on the occasion of her first communion, her seemingly innocent older sister Alice (Paula Sheppard) becomes the prime suspect. Matters become complicated as mo... more »
Will Haunt You For Days Afterwards
bdlion | Charter Oak, Covina, CA | 09/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I finally got my hands on a copy of this out of print DVD and watched it in the wee dark hours. I was so disturbed afterwards I couldn't go to sleep.
This is a really well crafted horror/suspense movie that was notable at the time of its release as the debut film of Brooke Shields (whose fame has since faded). Beyond this, it is a creepy, chilling, and fascinating film with some very realistic murder sequences. The idea of a child being murdered on the day of her first communion INSIDE THE CHURCH is disturbing enough, and to watch this sequence will send a chill up your spine.
After this, the question becomes, is the bratty older sister the culprit, or is someone else the killer? What's interesting regarding the attacks by the killer is how utterly out of control and spontaneous they are, just as I imagine a crazy person would conduct such attacks. The killer isn't just interested in killing the victims, the killer wants to assault them in any manner, at any time.
One victim is stabbed in the legs and feet as she is descending a staircase, and the motive seems to be the infliction of pain, suffering, and torture, all presented very realistcally. The attack is cruel, brutal, and sudden, completely unexpected. Despite what the main review says, there is plenty of blood to be seen.
Another victim is beaten with a brick, and then very graphically, has his mouth bashed several times with the brick. This scene is so realistic, I swear I could see the actor's lips splitting and the actor spitting out teeth. Again, the viciousness of the attack is simply terrifying and unnerving.
When the killer is revealed more than half way through the film, I thought this would diminish the rest of the movie. This was not true, as I was then trying to guess the motive behind the attacks. The killer is clearly insane, and therefore, no rational motive exists.
The images of religious iconography and the scenes inside a catholic church create a pervasive sense of dread and unease thoughout the film: a place of sanctuary and comforting religious objects are powerless against the unfolding horror and utter madness of the killer. Comparisons to DON'T LOOK NOW and Hitchcock films are justified, but this film is no mere rip-off. Watch it with the lights off and feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up."
Slow, but well-developed.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 09/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alice, Sweet Alice (Alfred Sole, 1976)
Alfred Sole directed only four films in his brief career (he later switched to production design, and has been running his feet off in that capacity since 1994; two films, twenty-six TV movies, and a TV series). Alice, Sweet Alice was the second of them, and the only film he directed for which he also wrote the screenplay. Very strange, because Alice, Sweet Alice is the best film Sole directed, and you'd think Hollywood would have given him another chance.
Alice (Liquid Sky's Paula E. Sheppard) is a troubled adolescent. Her mother, Catherine (Linda Miller of An Unmarried Woman and Turner & Hooch), is at wits' end. Her sister Karen (Brooke Shields, in her big screen debut) alternates between hating her and wanting to be her. Until, that is, Karen winds up dead just before receiving her first communion. The community's suspicion falls on Alice, naturally, while her mother staunchly defends the girl's innocence.
Tight, leisurely, and eerie, Alice, Sweet Alice is one of those movies that keeps you guessing till the end (even when the killer is revealed half an hour before that). It takes time to develop its characters, which has turned off a number of reviewers; if you rent this expecting a nonstop frightfest, you will be disappointed. This is mystery combined with coming-of-age tale that happens to have horrific elements to it.
Special mention should be made of the appearance of silent film star Lillian Roth, whose cameo was her first big-screen appearance in over forty years. (Roth would make only one more appearance, also a cameo, before her death in 1980.)
A fine piece of work, and one that deserves far more recognition than it's gotten. *** ½
Finally A Classic Being Re-Released As It Should Be!! 4.5 st
M. Jarrett | New England, USA | 02/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember when I had the 1999 DVD edition of Alice, Sweet Alice and I remember it was quite a thrill to own and watch. It was one of the superior thrillers out there (see my other review of that edition which is available and it will tell you my thoughts on this movie). Finally, our wonderful movie heads have decided to re-release this classic in a new edition. For those of you who have waited patiently while the other edition sells on ebay for $30-$50 a pop, you can now own this movie for less than $25 and it will most assuredly be a necessary edition to your collection. Whether you're a Brooke Shields fan or a fan of cult classics, Alice, Sweet Alice should not disappoint you fans who have been hungering for this! Now, you'll have the chance to own a movie that has become a cult hit in its own right!"
Ingenious Horror Film
A. Griffiths | London | 02/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Communion" is the better alternative title for this thoroughly enjoyable horror film. Don't expect to see much of the character of Brooke Shields, as she doesn't survive for very long! That's all I 'm saying about the plot, as this is a real whodunnit that should be enjoyed without prior warning. The real star of this movie is Paula Sheppard as the disturbed youngster Alice, who appears to be at the center of some very gruesome murders. It doesn't help that she likes to wander around in a bright yellow raincoat and spooky smiling mask, but that's just scratching the surface of this movie's weirdness..Gore highlights include a horrific stabbing through a staircase bannister which will make you wince, as well as a painful scene in which the murderer has to bash in the teeth of a victim who is biting down on a vital piece of incriminating evidence..ouch! All the acting is superb, including Linda Miller as the agonised mother, and Jane Lowry, I think as the bitchy aunt. The film really stands out because of the stylish direction and many twists, I really recommend a viewing. It has been compared to "Don't Look Now", but it reminds me more of Michael Winner's "The Sentinel", only better."