November 13, 2010

Unheavenly Creatures: 5 Things I love about Alucarda (1978)

Mysterious Entrances.

No slow motion or thumping beats necessary.
What better a way to introduce a dark vampyric heroine than to have her slowly emerge out of shadows and startle the cute new girl? Justine sits seemingly alone in her new convent room, looking down at a locket with pictures of her deceased parents inside. She is vulnerable and crying. Aluclarda slowly and silently approaches her from out of nowhere and though this is rather unnerving for Justine, she is quickly calmed by Alucarda's dark psychic powers emotional openness.

Alucarda: "What's that?"

Justine: "My mother and my father. Momma just died."

Alucarda: "I never met my mother or my father."

Justine: "Oh, I'm sorry."

Alucarda: "I have something to show you too."

Do you see how well she does it? Justine, after the death of her mother, arrives at an unfamiliar and rather run down looking convent where she is all too alone. After being taken up to her noticeably empty room and left there, Alucarda appears and offers her something desperately needed in a kindred soul mate. Even though Justine was never told of Alucarda and the room was empty when she entered it, her sudden startling presence was made serene by  a gentle "hello" and sharing of a common bond. Whether or not Alucarda is genuinely EVIL is up for debate, but it may not help matters that two other rather particular lost souls in this film are presented as materializing from absolutely nothing as well: The strange gypsy, who commences their Satanic lesbian blood pact(!), and Goat Head Satan himself whom brings them into the midst of a drug fueled hippie orgy(!). Though all three instances lead to the ultimate corruption of pure and fair Justine, I'll still maintain my speculation that Alucarda is not simply out for blood.

Alucarda's Secrets.

"I've been watching you while you sleep for months."
"These are things I never show anyone. These are secrets! Everyday I find a new secret." Just after Alucarda mysteriously appears from the corner of the room and introduces herself to Justine, there she begins to unveil her strange world of secrets. First, she hands Justine a charm and tells her it means that she likes her. Afterwards, Alucarda holds small insects in her hand and the two observe them. "Do you know how small creatures love each other? One is identical to the other, just like an image in a mirror. Like you and me." All this can understandably be considered confusing at first, since how exactly are a rock and some cute little bugs "secrets"? Ah, but that's precisely it, what is truly being presented here aren't the items themselves but rather Alucarda's feelings. Those are the true secrets she is speaking of. When Alucarda encourages Justine that they go look for some more secrets, the two merely giggle and frolic about the mountainside and then lay together for a short moment in the grass. Just as the light shines through the clouds, exposing her diamond-like skin, the not so subtle secret is quite apparent: Alucarda loves Justine. It isn't much later that Justine becomes aware of this, mostly in part due to Alucarda's extremely forward and brazen announcements of the fact. "Darling, darling Justine. I live in you. Would you die for me? I love you so. I have never been in love with anyone, and never shall, unless it's with you! The time is very near when you will love me as much as I love you. You may think me cruel and selfish, but love is always selfish. You don't know how jealous I am. You must love me to Death!" How sweet. After this moment, Alucarda doesn't speak much of secrets since her love no longer is one. Yet, I do belive that she may have many more secrets within her, some she may not even know herself.

Beauty In Death.

"They are burying Cynthia. She killed herself!
They will bury her in unhallowed ground."

"One can live eternally instead of turning into a little pile of dust." So says the Gothic beauty with the long, dark hair and pale white face. Upon seeing Cynthia's coffin being carried away, the two share a heartfelt moment.

Justine: "Funerals frighten me!"

Alucarda: "You have to die. Everybody has to die. But there can be happiness beyond death!"

Alucarda's tone put some importance on the fact that Cynthia, whom we know practically nothing about, will be buried in unhallowed ground. I wonder if she will find happiness beyond death. Surely, if she killed herself she found happiness in death, but beyond? I suppose the whole unhallowed ground factor could give her a chance for some form of unearthly Resurrection that leads her beyond death, but would being "alive" again really bring her happiness? A coffin full of blood would be hard as hell to carry as well, so I guess we can all assume that she was bloodless upon her death. Interesting.

Alucarda: "Are you afraid of dying?"

Justine: "Yes. Everyone is."

Alucarda: "I mean dying loving each other! Dying together so we can live as one forever, with the same blood running through our veins!" 

Justine is terrified by the thought of death, and Alucarda's morbid words really tend to freak her out tremendously. And yet, perhaps due to Alucarda's bewitching entrancement, she never strays away and at times even plays a rather submissive roll in their newly formed relationship.

Alucarda: "Let's make a pact. If we ever depart, from this life, we will do it... together!"

Justine: "Alright, if it makes you happy."

Even more strange is that we are led to believe that this is the first day they met. It could be the second, but these things are a bit unclear. Alucarda seems to know a lot of the ideals concerning romantic vampire lore, especially for a fifteen year old goth born and raised in a nunnery. When Justine is hesitant to cut herself open with Alucarda for their true love pact, Alucarda instead chooses to swear their pact by opening a tomb. Unbeknownst to her, it is the tomb of her dead mother and Dracula's mistress Lucy, and thus let the demonic possession commence.

The Satan Chant!

DarkThrone or else it's not trvu!
This film really took the whole love for Satan angle and pushed it to the fucking limit! On one hand you've got this beautiful love story about two young girls who are full of fantasy and wonder. Then you've got the otherworldly realms of vampires, demons, fortune and destiny thrown in. On top of that it's set in a convent where these two girls who's true love is not to be accepted, and they rebel in the name of the Dark Lord. She is of her father the dragon, and the lusts of her father she will do!

Alucarda: "And this is what the Devil does. He grants us virtues to expand His kingdom, the only valid one."

Justine: "God, with his lack of knowledge, does not understand this truth. And opposes them with false thoughts and prayer!"

Both: "Satan! Satan! Satan! Our lord and master, I acknowledge thee and my god and prince. I promise to serve and obey thee and long as I shall live. I renounce the other god and all the saints.

Who's feeling horny?
Satan! Satan! Satan! Our lord and master, I acknowledge thee and my god and prince. I promise you that I will do as much evil as I can. I will draw everyone else to evil. I won't fail to serve and adore thee. I give to you my life and my soul."

The women in this convent are horrified by the thoughts of their bodies suffering "everlasting torture". The priests are madmen without reason, caring, science, or hair. When this scene hit the screen I was eating it up like Satan at a flesh picnic with two new Mexican fifteen year old chicklets as the main course. Sure, praising the devil got a bit played out as time went by and technology started winning the war of the brainwashed, but it was fun while it lasted eh Beezle?

Alucarda Goes Batshit Crazy.

Immortal Forever... despite non-Satanic lyrics!

Throughout the film Alucarda shows signs of increasingly and seriously disturbed behavior. She's at first somewhat stalkish and mildly menacing, especially when she becomes passionate or ponders losing that which she loves the most. Though even then, she is extremely loving and warm.

Soon enough she's losing her goddamned mind! Writhing. Crying. Laughing. Twirling about. Ripping her hair out. Screaming out the various names of Satan! Suddenly she rips the crucifix from around Justine's neck and stares at it with an anger unlike any other. "God can't help me!" she screams, and her descent into madness continues. Justine is in a panic now and tries to calm her new girlfriend. Then when you just think she's snapped out of it, she backhands Justine with a bitch like fury and finally shows her controlling side.

Alucarda: "We shall make a pact and seal it with our blood!!!"

Justine: "..."

Of course, things didn't turn out the way Alucarda had planned, and loss followed her. With this loss, the rage inside of her grew and nuns started to spontaneously combust upon her malicious stare. I guess you could say that anger "smoldered within her like an unwholesome fire" and that fire had to be let loose. Love does crazy things to people. How did she get the power to make them all Burst Into Flames!? Perhaps she got high with a little help from her fiends. No matter the case, she went all out Carrie on their asses and got her short lived revenge for their bothersome meddling. And those are five things I love about this masterpiece of love horror.


Aaron said...

Yes, the Satan Chant and Alucarda going bat-shit crazy are two reasons why I adore this movie. The climax of the film is absolutely insane. I love it. "BELPHEGORRRRRR!"

I Like Horror Movies said...

I would have been able to answer this in one word: EVERYTHING. ALUCARDA > ALL.

My words are my own and as of posted from their creation forward I hereby claim originality to them. Pictures may prove to be promotional items and are the sole possessions of their respectful owners and/or companies. I do not sell, nor do I buy. I only rent, so therefore, nothing I own is truly mine.