Alucarda – original title: Alucarda, la hija de las tinieblas (“Alucarda, the Daughter of Darkness”) is a 1975 Mexican horror film directed by Juan López Moctezuma (The Mansion of Madness; Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary), starring Tina Romero in the title role. It has also been released as Innocents from Hell, Sisters of Satan and, misleadingly, as Mark of the Devil 3.
Often thought to be based on Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 novella Carmilla, the film’s plot revolves around two teenage orphan girls living in a Catholic convent, who unleash a demonic force and become possessed by Satan. It was filmed in Spanish but was dubbed into English for US release.
Alucarda is notorious for its extreme subject matter and themes within a religious setting. All of these things made the film controversial, especially for the time it was made. Because of its extreme violence, scenes of sacrilege, and perversely defiled religious imagery, it has gained a degree of notoriety.
A Mexican convent that houses nuns and is also an orphanage. Alucarda, a fifteen-year-old orphaned girl, has lived at the convent her entire life. Justine, another orphan girl of similar age, arrives at the convent. She and Alucarda become very close friends and form a close relationship.
While playing in the nearby forest, the girls stumble upon a band of mysterious gypsies and subsequently unleash a demonic force after opening a casket at a nearby burial site. A bloody chain of events follows after both Alucarda and Justine become possessed by the Satanic entity and wreak havoc on the convent and its inhabitants…
“Intelligent and atmospheric, if slightly bizarre, the film plays like a cross between Ken Russell’s The Devils and Piers Haggard’s Blood on Satan’s Claw. Anybody would be hard pushed to beat the stylish flair displayed by Russell in The Devils but Moctezuma, Stamatiades and Cruz throw caution, and any restraint demanded by their presumably quite small budget, to the wind and have a go anyhow.” Lee Broughton, DVD Savant
“Alucarda is one of the more striking and shocking south of the border gothic fests from the golden age of cinematic sleaze. Replete with nuns, devil worship, blood baths, and sadistic religious fanaticism, this is one drive-in jewel ripe for rediscovery.” Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital
“Alucarda is an odd duck to be sure, but one worth checking out if only for the visuals alone. Director Juan Lopez Moctezuma has created a bizarre, surreal world full of striking imagery, particularly in regards to the setting. At times it’s blatantly artificial, an approach which, when coupled with the cast’s tendency to overact, gives the film an almost fairy tale-like quality.” Final Girl
Posted by Will Holland