Santa Sangre

June 27, 1990 0 By Fans
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


A young man is confined in a mental hospital. Through a flashback we see that he was traumatized as a child…

Release Year: 1989

Rating: 7.6/10 (6,484 voted)

Alejandro Jodorowsky

Stars: Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell

A young man is confined in a mental hospital. Through a flashback we see that he was traumatized as a child, when he and his family were circus performers: he saw 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.

Writers: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Roberto Leoni


Axel Jodorowsky


Blanca Guerra


Guy Stockwell


Thelma Tixou

The Tattooed Woman

Sabrina Dennison


Adan Jodorowsky

Young Fenix

Faviola Elenka Tapia

Young Alma

Teo Jodorowsky


María de Jesús Aranzabal

Fat Prostitute

(as Ma. De Jesus Aranzabal)

Jesús Juárez


Sergio Bustamante


Gloria Contreras


S. Rodriguez

The Saint

Zonia Rangel Mora


Joaquín García Vargas

Box-office Attendant

(as Borolas)

Forget Everything You Have Ever Seen

Release Date: 27 June 1990

Filming Locations: Estudios Churubusco Azteca, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

Box Office Details

Budget: $787,000


Technical Specs



(cut version)

Did You Know?


The project was launched when Alejandro Jodorowsky was commissioned to write and direct a film based on real-life Mexican criminal named Gregorio Cárdenas.


When the elephant is dying, all the close-ups of its trunk bleeding show the trunk to be clean. All the long shots of the elephant show it's trunk covered in blood.


[first lines]

[Fenix crouches naked atop a tree trunk in his barren asylum room]

[enters along with orderlies pushing a food cart]
Fenix. Please…
[offers him a normal meal]

Eat like a human being.

[puts the tray back down and offers him a raw fish]


[jumps down and grabs the fish]


User Review

A film that makes me confront my deepest fears.

Rating: 10/10

"Santa Sangre" is one of Jodorowsky's most accessible films. Although
not as strange as "El Topo" and "the Holy Mountain", it is still very
bizarre ….. A colorful, horrifying and hallucinatory masterpiece.
Many have compared it to "Psycho", "Freaks" and "Fellini". In my
opinion, you can't compare it to anything because it's in its own
category. Produced by Claudio Argento, brother of Dario Argento; the
film does have a similar color style to "Suspiria". "Santa Sangre" is
the story of Fenix, a man in a mental institution at the films
beginning. A flashback shows Fenix as a child, growing up in the
circus. His mother, Concha is a trapeze artist and religious fanatic
who worships an armless god. His father Olgo is a knife thrower, who is
constantly having flirtatious encounters with the ugly, cruel tattooed
women. Fenix's closest friends are a mute mime, a dwarf and of course
clowns. After a circus performance, Fenix's mother catches Olgo having
an affair with the tattooed lady. In a fit of jealous rage, she dumps
acid on their genital regions. Then Olgo cuts off Concha's arms like
the goddess, and then cuts his own throat. Poor Fenix witnesses the
death of his father, and the Tattooed women drives away with his mute
friend Alma. Years later Fenix is reunited with his armless mother,
she's out for revenge. In order for her to throw knives, he has to
stand behind her and put his arms through her sleeves. It's as if she
controls his arms with her mind. "Santa Sangre" is very bloody,
disturbing and surreal, but at the same time beautiful and dreamlike.
It contains bizarre images such as an elephant funeral, chickens
falling from the sky, and mentally handicapped kids tricked into
snorting cocaine. (the last being a metaphor for societies corruption
of the innocent) Because the film is psychologically disturbing, it
makes me confront my deepest subconscious fears; loss of arms, genitals
or sanity. I have watched the film more than several times, and it is
one of my favorite movies. Every time I watch it, I cringe as I'm
challenged by both its beauty and disturbing intensity. So it's not
really a horror film, but a surreal masterpiece with horrifying images.
It will haunt you long after it's over.