Title: Alucarda

Also known as:
Alucarda, la hija de las tinieblas (Original title)
Innocents from Hell (USA, video title)
Mark of the Devil 3 (USA, video title)
Sisters of Satan (USA)

Year: 1978

Genre: Occult / Horror / Exploitation

Language: English

Runtime: 85 min / 75 min

Director: Juan López Moctezuma

Writer: Sheridan Le Fanu, Alexis Arroyo

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075666/

Evil slowly spreads through a convent after young 15-year-old Justine arrives, due to the loss of her parents. Justine meets a strange girl, Alucarda, a girl she becomes all too close with. Alucarda takes Justine into a world of demonic possession and together they raise hell.

Our thoughts:
First I should mention that this DVD was sent to me from CMV Laservision, and the runtime on this release is 75 min, and I honestly don't know if the movie is cut or not because it seems like 75 min is the most common one, which leads me to believe that maybe the 85 min from IMDb is an error. I've heard of the film for a while and the cover of it always caught my eye, so when I got the chance to check it out for the website, I thought "why not?". It's one of the most mentioned titles when it comes to 70's occult / exploitation, and even though I'm not a huge digger of the genre, I couldn't help but fall for this little trashy Mexican film.

Justine is sent to a convent after her parents pass away. In her room she is visited by a mysterious girl, Alucarda, and they soon build a strong relationship. Soon Alucarda has lured Justine into vampirism and devil worshipping, and the nuns in the convent set out to perform an exorcism on them. What I did find the most interesting about the movie wasn't the plot, but rather some I know a couple of people have mentioned; there's no clear antagonists or protagonists. Of course I found myself cheering for Justine and Alucarda, but there's also the nuns/priests, and a doctor to follow and cheer for. It was pretty interesting and while it might just be a small detail, it gave the movie something extra.

Honestly, about half-way through the movie I was a little bored with it, but it quickly gets good again in the final part, which is where most of the murder and whatnot begins. There's alot of atmospheric scenes through-out the movie but my favorite ones are all towards the end, in a scene where Justine climbs out from a coffin filled with blood and attacks a nun. There's just something about a naked chick covered in blood while killing nuns, I guess.

Even though the movie features plenty of bloody scenes, I wouldn't call the movie very bloody or gory. There's a decent enough amount though, and the scenes we see are far from bad even though it has that typical bright red 70's blood we've all learned to love through the years. Mixing the amount of blood with the amount of gore and you have yourself a party. We have lots of full body shots of both Alucarda and Justine, and even though they are suppose to be young in the film, their bodies beg to differ.

It's not a groundbreaking movie in any way and it doesn't have to be, it has enough to please a fan of the subgenre, and it can also invite some outsiders too. I prefer it to some other films of the subgenre, and after watching this I might checking out some more titles. Only after carefully browsing the net for other "popular" ones though. Nuns, demonic possession, blood and eroticism sums it up fairly good.

Positive things:
- Nice atmosphere, even though it started out fairly lame.
- I enjoyed the soundtrack. Not something I'd listen to, but for the movie it worked.
- Good doses of blood and nudity.
- Not too bad of a period piece, something I'm not a fan of usually.
Negative things:
- Alot of screaming.
- It has a few moments of boredom.
- At times overly dramatic acting.

Gore: 1.5/5
Nudity: 2/5
Story: 3/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 0/5

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