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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Alice, Sweet Alice [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£5.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 27 October 2017
The film:

This is definitely a cult classic that deserves more views. While performances are at times histrionic and the narrative a bit lackluster, "Alice, Sweet Alice" is an ambitious film touching on religious zeal, sexual repression and pedophilia. There's enough ingenuity with respect to the horror and character development to warrant my solid recommendation.

The disc:

I purchased this from 88 Films since the Anchor Bay release has been long out of print. I was expecting a considerable improvement due to the anamorphic widescreen and high bitrate encode, but what I got was a waxy mess. Despite the image being free of compression artifacts as well as windowboxing, the aggressive digital noise reduction (DNR) wiped away all fine detail. The viewing experience was akin to watching a flash video. This begs the question: why even bother with such a high bit rate?
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on 7 March 2014
On the day of her first communion Karen, Brooke Shields, is murdered by someone in a mask and yellow plastic raincoat. Suspicion soon falls upon her sister Alice, Paula Sheppard.

Creepy early slasher classic Alice Sweet Alice finally gets a decent release from 88 Films. There are one or two signs of age, but otherwise the picture quality is pretty good.

Alice Sweet Alice Aka Communion Aka Holy Terror is a way above average 70s slasher film that makes the most of it's New Jersey setting. Heavy doses of catholic imagery give the film a great morbid atmosphere of oppressive guilt with psycho sexual overtones. The killer owes a small debt to Don't Look Now, but the mask and knife point the way to later films. Paula Sheppard was 19 years old when the film was made and is great in the title role as the ambiguously motivated Alice.


Audio Commentary from the film's director Alfred Sole, editor Edward Salier and William Lustig, not credited on the case.

The original and misleading trailer for the film under the title Holy Terror which emphasizes Brooke Shields

Alternative title sequence for the same film as Communion

Stills Gallery

Booklet by Calum Waddell

Reversible cover with the original artwork

Trailer Park for other 88 Films releases.

The aspect ratio is 1:85.1
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on 12 February 2010
This is a brilliant, original, thought-provoking horror movie that has festered in obscurity for some time. Despite a slew of alternate titles -- "Alice Sweet Alice" "Communion" and "Holy Terror" are but three-- it is still virtually unknown. This film revolves around Alice Spages, a 12 year old girl. She comes from a divorced, strict Catholic family, and her little sister, Karen played by a young Brooke Shields gets most of the attention, while Alice is sort of left in the dark. We get the idea that Alice might have some problems and you can surely tell she is jealous of her sister. Then on Karen's first holy communion, she is strangled to death and lit on fire in the church by someone wearing a yellow rain slicker and a creepy plastic mask. The police believe Alice had something to do with her sister's murder, and commit her as their target. Then, the mysterious person in the yellow rain slicker strikes again, this time stabbing Alice's Aunt while she's walking down the stairs of an apartment complex.

As more murders continue, we begin to question - could a 12 year old girl really be capable of murder? Or could it be someone else?. I don't think there has ever been anything like this film ever before and that it features an amazing newcomer, Paula E. Sheppard, in a chilling role as a deeply disturbed schoolgirl who may or may not be responsible for a slew of gory murders. Add to those a strong Catholic subtext and hints of child abuse and you've got one incredible ninety minutes of mental and physical mayhem.

Director Alfred Sole gives the viewer some heavy Catholic imagery throughout the film, contrasting it with the brutal events taking place. There is obviously much thought and detail put into the complex characters, as well as the complicated but intriguing plot. The score is extremely eerie, just listening to the score alone is enough to give anyone the chills. Without the score I think this movie would have lost much of the ambiance that it has. Alice's sister, Karen, is played by a very young Brooke Shields, and this movie is probably most known for having her name branded on it, even though she dies very soon in the film. Paula Sheppard (who was actually 19 years old at the time) plays Alice, Karen's violently jealous sister, and her performance is probably the best of the entire film. I absolutely loved the staircase attack on Alice's aunt, it was unexpected and very well done.

Overall, "Alice, Sweet Alice" is an effective 70's slasher film that has been either forgotten about or is very unknown. A spooky score, some eerie religious imagery and a brutal staircase slashing make this a complete classic. I was lucky enough to be able to pick up the Anchor Bay DVD release, but now it has been released on Amazon.com, make sure you get it from there instead of the terrible region two edition which was converted from a VHS!? ugh!. The new DVD release is great, if you're able to get your hands on it (for a reasonable price), then definitely get it.
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on 12 March 2017
what a fantasic movie one of my best murder films and the music in the film is very erre 10 out 10 amozon simon
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on 20 April 2017
A classic slasher from the 80's at a very reasonable price
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on 8 July 2003
AN underrated, unsettling tale of murder, suspicion and the macabre, this is a seminal horror film.
It focuses on 12-year-old Alice Spages (Paula Sheppard) who is accused of murdering her younger sister Karen (Brooke Shields) before her First Communion and then of viciously stabbing her Aunt Annie.
We view a masked killer in a yellow raincoat committing both acts and it seems obvious that Karen - who was the last person to see her sister - will be implicated as the perpetrator.
She is suspected due to problems at school, jealousy of her sister, resentment of her mother (whom she thinks favours Alice over her) and her generally odd behaviour.
Karen is questioned by police and named by her Aunt as the mystery attacker, however in its genuinely frightening conclusive stages, doubts gather as to the person who carried out both deeds. And although the person responsible is seemingly uncovered, an unforeseen climax suggests that any pre-conceived notions over the murderer's identity may have been unfounded.
It's absorbing viewing and although never positively unnerving until its latter half, Alice, Sweet Alice contains many distinctive characteristics.
The use of a religious setting and ecclesiastical imagery - which has faint echoes of both The Exorcist (1973) and in a way Rosemary's Baby (1968) - coupled with the surreal, gory nature of the killer's acts, does make for an unusually tense atmosphere.
Alice herself is a potent source of terror. Indeed it would not be an exaggeration to say that Paula Sheppard's chilling performance is redolent of Sissy Spacek's wonderfully scary display as Carrie in Brian De Palma's 1976 classic.
With her piercing eyes and fixed stare, she is monstrously creepy every time the camera focuses on her.
Alice is not the only bizarre character in the film, which is extremely well cast with a number of physically (and mentally) distorted participants, not least the obese and possibly perverted Mr Alphonso and Mrs Tredoni, who possesses a genuinely perturbing demeanour. It also marked the first screen appearance of Brooke Shields, who was nine when she played Alice's sister Karen.
Music also plays an integral part in the film, with its haunting main theme a very effective component of creating an eerie aura.
Possibly its most notable feature is the use of the masked killer, which pre-dates Halloween (1978) and adds an extra layer of intrigue to what is already a subtly fascinating premise.
It also established that the look of the killer (in this case a yellow raincoat and cherub faced child's mask) was almost as important as the actions he/she/it carried out.
And in this regard, Alfred Sole's film was to serve as a reference point and undoubted influence for many - including Friday the 13th (1980) and My Bloody Valentine (1981) - of the sometimes mis-labelled 'slasher' films that were successful largely between 1978-1983.
In conclusion, I believe that Alice, Sweet Alice is a landmark film in several aspects and should appeal to anyone with an interest in the horror genre.
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on 23 February 2014
88 Film's have finally given another underrated classic from the 70's a release that is deserves.
It now replaces the poor quality and cut import DVD that I have had for years (which replaced my VHS copy!).
Even knowing the denouement of the film doesn't take away from just how great it is.It is almost a hybrid of Hitchcock and Argento set in a grungy Everywhere neighbourhood with a host or realistic characters,the interfering aunt,the troubled daughter (whom is the suspect in the murders),the estranged parents and the disgusting peadophile landlord,here regarded as the dirty old man.
The catholic symbolism is predominant,as is the hypocrisy which is displayed through the characters.The catholic symbolism seems as important as that of which was in The Exorcist.
Overall a great whodunit and release,hopefully 88 Films will keep finding these obscure little known films and release them.
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on 18 November 2008
Angelic Karen Spages(Brooke Sheilds) is horribly murdered just before her first communion. Fingers start to point towards her sister Alice being the guilty party, as she is the very opposite to her dead sister. Prone to violent outbursts and verbally aggresive towards her Aunt Annie and neighbour Mr Alphonso, Alice was also the last person to enter the church when Karen was murdered. Alice's father Dominick then arrives on the scene, and determined to prove his surviving daughters innocence, starts to do a bit of amateur detecting of his own.
I must reiterate that I'm giving the five stars for the wonderful film. Its a great little thriller, very much like a giallo in style, with many twists and turns. The real standout performance comes from Paula E. Sheppard as Alice, a quite remarkable achievement for someone so young, delivering a performance of real moral ambiguity. Alphonse De Noble is also memorable as digusting paedophile neighbour Mr Alphonso.
The DVD release gets big fat zero, as its a very poor straight from video transfer. How do I know this? Well, on my old video tape of this film theres a scene where the audio track is out of sync with the action on screen. This is the case with this DVD too. The only the only difference is that I'm sure my old video was of superior picture quality. Please avoid this release at all costs, as its an insult to a film that deserves a lot better treatment. So 5 out of 5 for the film, 0 out of 5 for the DVD.
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on 5 July 2008
Don't buy this thing! The picture quality is completely unacceptable, it looks like a YouTube video, not like a DVD.
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on 1 November 2009
Like the other reviewers I wasn't impressed with the quailty of the print of the DVD so I bought the american(alice sweet alice) release wow I wish I didn't. If you think ours is bad the region 1 version is terrible, it's so bad I threw it away. It's an amazingly good film and at least wee have a watchable version.
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