Alucarda (1977)

alucarda 2

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 2 out of 10

4-Word Review: Another Exorcist rip-off

Justine (Susana Kamini) arrives at a convent after the death of her parents. She meets up with a strange young woman named Alucarda (Tina Romero) who almost immediately professes her true love for Justine and the two make a weird pact. Alucarda then seems to become possessed and it rubs off on Justine sending the nuns and priest at the convent into a panicked frenzy to rid both girls and the place from the evil presence.

This bizarre, cheap Mexican production comes off like someone’s drug induced acid trip. Yet it has still managed to acquire a small cult following and even has one reviewer at IMDB calling it ‘brilliant’ even though I found it to be anything but and only reconfirms that there is somebody out there that will like anything. Juan Lopez Moctezuma’s direction is unfocused and undisciplined. The story borders on being almost incoherent with wild twists and story arches that occur at a breakneck pace. The special effects are tacky and there isn’t a single scare in the whole thing.

This supposedly takes place in the 18th century, but the priest wears a wardrobe that looks like he is from China even though the setting is Mexico and the outfits worn by the nuns defy any era and appear to be made by a costume designer who was drunk. The pounding rock-like score has a resemblance to music from Tangerine Dream, but a much weaker version and doesn’t connect with the time period that the story is in. It has elements that will remind you of Suspira and Ken Russell’s The Devils, but both of those films are far superior to this one and only make you wish you were watching those instead.

The acting is amateurish and over-the-top, but star Romero has an interesting look in her eyes and reminded me a bit of a young Genevieve Bujold. There is an abundance of nudity and low-grade eroticism that may make it appealing to some. I did get a kick out of the way the nuns and priest overact and wilt at simply the mention of the devil and Satanism, which I found to be unintentionally funny.

This is just another attempt to cash in on the success of The Exorcist and like the rest of them fails miserably. This isn’t entertaining even on a camp level and I would suggest avoiding it completely.

alucarda 1

My Rating: 2 out of 10

Released: March 10, 1977

Runtime: 1Hour 14Minutes

Rated R

Director: Juan Lopez Moctezuma

Studio: Yuma Films

Available: DVD

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