Justine is thrust in to a depraved world of darkness when she meets the demonically possessed Alucarda, and together, the two set out to defile the church with their unsanctified evil. ALUCARDA serves as a biting critical response to the oppressive Catholic controls that were set on Mexican culture throughout the better half of the twentieth century. The film's arresting visuals, haunting score, and brilliant set pieces are quite unlike anything else in the genre, with each contributing to the surreal mysticism of the plot. Juan Lopez Moctezuma is unafraid to explore a rich and vivid color palette, contrasting hot and cool tones while using the screen as his own morbid canvas. The characters he introduces are equally colorful, depicting a variety of strange, offbeat personas that seem to have stepped out of the pages of some twisted fairy tale. Tina Romero's unnerving performance is wildly over the top, but her crazed shrieks and howls along with her deathly facial gestures will leave viewers believing that she truly is possessed. A culmination of Moctezuma's expressive style explodes on screen in the film's bloody finale, where Alucarda calls upon the powers of Satan to strike down the convent in a rain of fire. ALUCARDA is a compelling visual masterpiece that transforms the screen into a nightmarish vision of hell. It comes as no surprise that Moctezuma was a close colleague of the equally brilliant Alejandro Jodorowsky, director of SANTA SANGRE, let alone an inspiration to other talented Mexican filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro. This possession tale cannot be overlooked, and it still stands as one of the strongest Mexican exports in the genre.
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If you liked ALUCARDA, check out:
SANTA SANGRE, MANSION OF MADNESS, DARK WATERS.