Santa Sangre 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 255, May/June 2021

WSR Score4.5
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Severin Films
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Alejandro Jodorowsky
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby TrueHD 2.0
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(Spanish Language):
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In "Santa Sangre," a young man is confined in a mental hospital. Through a flashback he is shown traumatized as a child, when he and his family were circus performers. During the flashback he sees his father cut off the arms of his mother, a religious fanatic and leader of the heretical church of Santa Sangre ("Holy Blood"), and then commit suicide. Back in the present, he escapes and rejoins his surviving and armless mother. Against his will, he "becomes her arms" and the two undertake a grisly campaign of murder and revenge. (Gary Reber)

Special features include on Disc 1 (UHD) and Disc 2 (Bl-ray) commentary with Director Alejandro Jodorowsky and Journalist Alan Jones, the featurette "New Blood," deleted scenes with Director commentary and the theatrical trailer. On Disc 3 is the feature-length documentary "FORGET EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER SEEN: The World of Santa Sangre," the "Like A Phoenix" interview with Producer Claudio Argento, a "Holy Blood" interview with Cinematographer Daniele Nannuzzi, a "Mexican Magic" interview with Executive Producer Angelo Iacono, "The Language Of Editing" interview with Editor Mauro Bonanni, an "Innocence And Horror" interview with Screenwriter Roberto Leoni, a Santa Sangre 30th Anniversary Celebration at Morbido Festival, Mexico City, the documentary "Goyo Cardenas Spree Killer", a Jodorowsky 2003 interview, a Jodorowsky on stage Q&A, the "Echek" Adam Jodorowsky short film, Simon Boswell interviews Jodorowsky, the "Close Your Eyes" music video and a "Blink Jodorowsky" short. Disc 4 contains the CD of the soundtrack.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on Eastman film stock and sourced from a 4K restored master Digital Intermediate scanned from the original negative. Shot on film, the light grain structure is never distracting with no apparent dirt or artifacts. The color palette is outstanding with bold and vivid, yet warm and rich hues that pop, especially during the scenes of the circus. Everything appears natural. Fleshtones appear accurate. HDR contrast is excellent with deep black levels, revealing shadow delineation, and natural lighting effects. Clarity and sharpness are superb and reveal detail of object textures, clothing, tattoos, and facial features. This is a stunning visual showcase of imaginative imagery and color reproduction that makes for a compelling picture. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 2.0-channel stereo soundtrack is the foundation for the repurposed DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 version. The soundtrack sounds monaural but through the main and surround channels, with subtle envelopment in the surrounds. Dialogue is clear with good spatial integration. Simon Boswell's score sounds generally dynamic, supplemented with various Mexican folk songs, which sound a bit distorted. Overall, this is a satisfying soundtrack to a wild story. (Gary Reber)