‘If you survive this night… nothing will ever scare you again.’
Communion is a 1976 American slasher film directed by Alfred Sole (Tanya’s Island, Pandemonium) from a screenplay co-written with Rosemary Ritvo. It stars Linda Miller, Paula Sheppard, and Brooke Shields.
The film was released theatrically three different times under a different title: first as Communion in November 1976; as Alice, Sweet Alice in 1978; and as Holy Terror in 1981.
A remake is apparently being developed, directed by Dante Tomaselli and co-scripted by Fangoria magazine managing editor Michael Gingold.
Paterson, New Jersey: the early 1960s. Catherine Spages (Linda Miller) is visiting Father Tom (Rudolph Willrich) with her two daughters, who both attend St. Michael’s Parish Girls’ School: 9-year-old Karen (Brooke Shields) and 12-year-old Alice (Paula Sheppard).
Karen is preparing for her First Communion and Father Tom gives her his mother’s crucifix as a gift. A jealous Alice puts on a creepy, translucent grinning mask, frightening Mrs. Tredoni (Mildred Clinton), Father Tom’s housekeeper.
Later, Alice steals Karen’s porcelain doll and lures her into an abandoned building with it. She jumps out and scares Karen with the grinning mask and locks her in a room. When she lets her out she tells her that if anyone finds out, she’ll never see the doll again.
On the day of the First Communion, Karen is attacked and strangled to death, by a person in a translucent mask and yellow. Her body is dragged away by her right arm and dumped into a bench compartment, which is set on fire with a candle, but not before ripping the crucifix from her neck. Smoke begins to fill the church.
Meanwhile, Alice enters the church, carrying her shiny yellow raincoat. She kneels in Karen’s place to receive communion when a scream is heard. A curious nun had entered the back room where the confessionals are located, and found Karen’s body. People run in, horrified…
“ … doesn’t shy away from depicting tremendous violence towards a child (one of the major taboos). Karen’s murder is a tremendously upsetting scene made all the more disturbing by the religious imagery. Her crucifix is ripped from her neck in her final moments and her dead body is stuffed into a pew and then lit on fire. As horrifyingly brutal as the action is, it’s shot beautifully.’ Miss Sardonicus
” … I was satisfied with it’s twist ending and some over the top Joan Crawford level acting from Alice’s aunt Annie. It’s a bit deeper than your usual slasher fare with the addition of strange sexual undertones between Alice and the overweight eyebrow challenged neighbor Mr. Alphonso, Alice’s disturbing shrine to her sister, and the housekeepers obsession with Father Tom.” I Love Hot Dogs
The Dutch VHS sleeve above cheekily re-uses artwork from Raging Fury (1986).