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Alice, Sweet Alice


  • Holy Terror Version (US BD)
  • Uncut
Release: Aug 10, 2020 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

New Jersey in 1961. During her first Holy Communion, young Karen is murdered in church by a person in a yellow raincoat. Suspicion falls on her sister Alice, who often showed herself violent and abusive towards Karen. Especially father Dom believes in the innocence of his daughter and makes his own investigations in the environment of the church, which bring frightening things to light.

Inspired by Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now, a murderer in a yellow raincoat is at work in the proto slasher Alice, Sweet Alice. Whether Alice is hiding behind the yellow plastic cape or not will only be revealed in the last third of the film, until then you get a critical view of the catholic church and partly broken family relationships. The leading role is played by the then 19-year-old Paula E. Sheppard as 12-year-old (!) Alice, who six years later had an equally memorable appearance in Liquid Sky. As the murdered sister Karen, the young Brooke Shields can be seen in her theatrical debut. Alice's overweight, greasy neighbor is played by Alphonso DeNoble, who also appears in the infamous Bloodsucking Freaks. Director Alfred Sole began his career with the X-Rated film Deep Sleep and later shot the weird Tanya's Island with Vanity.

The film premiered under the title Communion at the Chicago International Film Festival in 1976 and when the film was sold to the US distributor Allied Artists, they feared that the audience might expect a Christian film, so they insisted on changing the title to Alice, Sweet Alice. After Brooke Shields became a star with Pretty Baby and The Blue Lagoon, the film was released again in 1981, this time under the title Holy Terror and with the remark that this was Shields' screen debut. The trailer focuses very much on Shields and suggests that she has a much bigger role in the film.

On the US Blu-ray by Arrow Video, you can find the uncut original version titled Communion as well as a version called Alternate Holy Terror Television Cut. Both versions are based on the same, very accomplished transfer. However, the differences are marginal. The Holy Terror version has alternative opening credits that also show the date and place of the action. Otherwise, there are only two minor differences. At one point, Dom is shown a little longer and a little later as Mrs. Tredoni has her shoe on Dom, the Holy Terror version shows an alternative shot. It's not clear if this is really a TV version, because all the other more brutal scenes are still there. Especially in the scene with Dom, there are enough bloody details before and after, so that changing this one shot seems a bit unusual. As enigmatic as the version may be, it's also unspectacular in the end. It's enough if you stick to the main version of the movie. What's more interesting about the Blu-ray is the extensive bonus material, which provides an interesting and detailed insight into the movie. Another release of Arrow Video that can only be recommended.


Holy Terror version: 107:11 min.
Communion version: 107:06 min.

The Holy Terror version was compared to the Communion version. Both are included on the US Blu-ray by Arrow Video.


The Holy Terror version begins with the Allied Artists film logo.

HT: 8 sec.


In the Holy Terror version, the girl jumps to the side, followed by the title credits.

Then Paterson, N.J. May 21, 1961, is faded in.

In the Communion version, the transition is smooth. This is followed by differently designed title credits.

HT: 53 sec.
CO: 53 sec.


The HT version fades out a little slower after Karen puts on the headdress.

HT: 1 sec.


In the CO version, Dom runs longer towards the person in the yellow raincoat.

CO: 2 sec.


When Mrs. Tredoni hits Dom with her shoe, the HT version shows an alternative shot of Dom at one point.



HT: 1 sec.
CO: 1 sec.