Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) (BLU-RAY REVIEW)

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Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) (BLU-RAY REVIEW)
DIRECTED BY: Alfred Sole
STARRING: Linda Miller, Mildred Clinton, Paula E. Sheppard
RATED: R/REGION A/1:85/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM Arrow Video

A young Brooke Shields meets an untimely end in this religious-themed proto-slasher par excellence from director Alfred Sole. On the day of her first communion, young Karen (Brooke Shields) is savagely murdered by an unknown assailant in a yellow rain mac and creepy translucent mask. But the nightmare is far from over – as the knife-wielding maniac strikes, again and again, Karen’s bereaved parents are forced to confront the possibility that Karen’s wayward sister Alice might be the one behind the mask. Bearing influences from the likes of Hitchcock, the then-booming Italian giallo film and more specifically, Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, Alice, Sweet Alice is an absolutely essential – if often overlooked – entry in the canon of 1970s American horror.

This is a film that just seems creepy. From our main focus of Alice to the large and repulsive neighbor to just about every character here, they all seem weird or “off”. That is what makes this film just a moody and interesting horror film. As things play out you also realize just how smart of a horror film it actually is as well. You have some nice gore and disturbing scenes, but you also have a very smart script that is well written and gives us a shock or two along the way. There’s a reason people always bring this one up and other movies always seem to want to drop a callback to it from time to time. This is a movie that works perfectly as a thriller or as a midnight movie. It builds up tension and then when all is said and done I feel it delivers on a satisfying ending. That’s something that is hard to come by but Alice, Sweet Alice does it and does it very well.

I’ve seen several versions of this movie on DVDs and such along the years and I’m sure that Arrow is the first company to really knock this one out of the park. Not only does it look the best that I’ve ever seen it from an HD point of view, but it also packs a lot of really cool extras like commentaries and other stuff. One of those cool things is the TV “Holy Terror” version of the film. And that goes without even mentioning the cool cover they did with the slipcase, the booklet, and the poster that also comes inside it. This is an amazing release for a very solid horror movie that I still find creepy to this day. And this release finally gives it the justice it deserves on all fronts.

Extras

– Brand new 2K restoration of the theatrical version from the original camera negative
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
– Original uncompressed mono audio
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Brand new audio commentary with Richard Harland Smith
– Archival audio commentary with co-writer/director Alfred Sole and editor Edward Salier
– First Communion: Alfred Sole Remembers Alice, Sweet Alice – director Alfred Sole looks back on his 1976 classic
– In the Name of the Father – brand new interview with actor Niles McMaster
– Sweet Memories: Dante Tomaselli on Alice, Sweet Alice – filmmaker Dante Tomaselli, cousin of Alfred Sole, discusses his longtime connection to the film
– Lost Childhood: The Locations of Alice, Sweet Alice – a tour of the original Alice Sweet – Alice shooting locations hosted by author Michael Gingold
– Alternate Holy Terror Television Cut
– Deleted scene
– Alternate Opening Titles
– Trailer and TV Spot
– Original screenplay
– Image gallery

Quality of Transfer: 96%

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