Santa sangre (1989)

Italy, 1989
120 mins (US R-rated version), 123m, 3264 metres
35mm film, colour
Dolby, Spanish

An Italian horror film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Plot Summary

While incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital, Fenix recalls his traumatic childhood, raised in a circus by his religious fanatic father who severed his mother’s arms and committed suicide in a fit of religious fervour. The adult Fenix escapes the hospital and is reunited with his mother, becoming her arms to help her gain a terrible revenge against the world.


Directed by: Alejandro Jodorowsky
© Produzioni Intersound 1989
Claudio Argento presents a film by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Produzioni Intersound Rome
Executive Producers: Renè Cardona Jr, Angelo Jacono
Produced by: Claudio Argento
Line Producer: Anuar Badin
Screenplay by: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Roberto Leoni, Claudio Argento
Original Story by: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Adapted for the Screen by: Roberto Leoni
The Creation of the World” is inspired by a Marcel Marceau pantomime
Director of Photography: Daniele Nannuzzi
Film Editor: Mauro Bonanni
Music by: Simon Boswell
Sound Mixer: Roberto Camacho
Costume Designer: Tolita Figueroa
Make-up Supervisor: Lamberto Marini
Hairdressing: Silvia Fernandez
Tattoo Design: Sergio Arau
Special Effects Supervisor: Marcelino Pacheco Guzmán
Production Designer: Alejandro Luna

Axel Jodorowsky (Fenix)
Blanca Guerra (Concha)
Guy Stockwell (Orgo)
Thelma Tixou (the tattooed woman)
Sabrina Dennison (Alma)
Adan Jodorowsky (young Fenix)
Faviola Elenka Tapia (young Alma)
Teo Jodorowsky (pimp)
María de Jesús Aranzabal (fat prostitute)
Jesús Juárez (Aladin)
Sergio Bustamante (monsignor)
Gloria Contreras (Rubi)
S. Rodriguez (the saint)
Zonia Rangel Mora (Trini)
Borolas [real name: Joaquín García Vargas] (box-office attendant)
Teo Tapia (business man)
Edgar E. Jiménez Nava (monsignor’s chauffeur)
Jacob Lieberman (monsignor’s secretary)
Héctor Ortega Gómez (doctor)
Brontis Jodorowsky (orderly 1)

Includes extracts from
The Invisible Man (1933)


Monthly Film Bulletin vol.57 no.675 (April 1990) pp.117-118
Every bit as wearisomely formulaic as the scripts for graphic novels that Jodorowsky has been writing in Paris for the last twelve years… [It] conflates elements from Psycho and Terayama’s Pastoral Hide-and-Seek to produce a glib and implausible allegory of Mexico’s destiny. – Tony Rayns



  • Cinefantastique vol.20 no.1/2 (November 1989) pp.34-37 – illustrated article
  • City Limits no.445 (12 April 1990) p.33 – illustrated review
  • Delirium no.26 (2021) pp.22-23 – illustrated interview with Simon Boswell (The sound of Santa Sangre by Chris Alexander)
  • Empire no.11 (May 1990) p.66 – illustrated review
  • Film Français no.2244/2245 (5 May 1989) pp.59, 62 (France) – credits
  • Films and Filming no.410 (November/December 1988) p.4 – review
  • Films and Filming no.425 (March 1990) pp.50, 51 – illustrated credits, review
  • Forced Exposure no.17 – interview (Wrapped in salamander cloth, he played house: An interview with film director Alejandro Jodorowsky by Stefan Jaworzyn and Stephen Thrower)
  • Foreign Sales, Italian Movie Trade January 1984 p.2 (Italy) – note
  • Foreign Sales, Italian Movie Trade October/November 1988 pp.18, 62 – production notes, credits
  • Foreign Sales, Italian Movie Trade April/May 1989 p.37 – production notes
  • Foreign Sales, Italian Movie Trade December 1989 p.8 (Italy) – credits, synopsis
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.57 no.675 (April 1990) pp.117-118 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review (by Tony Rayns)
  • Revue du Cinéma/Image et Son no.451 (July/August 1989) p.25 – review
  • Starburst no.132 (August 1989) pp.20-21 – interview
  • Starburst no.139 (March 1990) pp.21-22 – illustrated review
  • Time Out no.1025 (11 April 1990) p.32 – illustrated review
  • Variety 31 May 1989 pp.28-29 – review


  • Svenska Dagbladet 30 March 1991 – review (Mycket blod men lite handling by Hans Schiller)


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.451 – illustrated credits, review
  • Fervid Filmmaking: 66 Cult Pictures of Vision, Verve and No Self-restraint by Mike Watt pp.155-158 – illustrated review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.433 – credits
  • The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies: An A-Z Guide to Over Sixty Years of Blood and Guts by Peter Normanton pp.370-371
  • Midnight Movies by J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum – review