Alucarda starts off with little baby Alucarda being born and immediately being handed over to a spooky disheveled creep to bring to the orphanage. Her mother is left to writhe on a bale of hay, make funny faces and listen to the spooky sounds coming from… well, nowhere really. Let the credits roll, and we find ourselves at said orphanage fifteen years later where young Justine is being dropped off to live after her parent’s deaths. The orphanage is run by a convent of nuns who wear a sort of bloody tampon meets marshmallow outfit. Here we briefly meet Dr. Oszek and his blind daughter, and Justine’s new room-mate, Alucarda.
Alucarda and Justine hit it off immediately and go running through the forest giggling and tickling each other as all young orphan girls should. A gypsy funeral passes and Alucarda shows her inner goth angst as she comments about how “everybody has to die, but there can be happiness beyond death.” More frolicking and giggle ensues until they come across a hunchbacked gypsy that looks like a retarded hobbit. He takes them to his camp where he tries to sell them charms and is generally creepy.
Running further into the forest they find a building that from the outside looks like a gorgeous church but the inside reveals that it’s the shit hole Alucarda was born in fifteen years earlier. Here Alucarda professes her love to Justine, the girls make a pact to “love each other to death” and crack open a coffin unleashing all kinds of Satanic hell. This is where the screaming starts. So… much… screaming…
Back at the orphanage Justine passes out during mass and the nuns agree to let Alucarda watch over her when she awakes. In their room Alucarda has a fit screaming out “Beelzebub” and spinning in a circle like a possessed screeching top. She tears a crucifix off of Justine’s neck, screams about Satan and who should appear out of nowhere? The creepy hunchback of course, who makes it storm and encourages yet more screaming from Alucarda. This is where it all gets good, as Alucarda, now naked, screams for Satan and the hunchback strips Justine down and kneels them both down to perform a blood pact with the girls. He slices their hands and breasts, making them taste each other’s blood. This scene only hints at the lesbian greatness that this film could have erupted into at this point. There’s some soft, and bloody, smooching and Alucarda licking blood off of Justine’s cut breast, but that’s about it. Oh, and yes, Justine is yelling. There really is more screaming, yelling and shouting at the devil than even 1983 era Motley Crue could handle.
Two great scenes follow, as we go back and forth between a gypsy Satanic ritual/orgy and Sister Angelica praying for the soul Justine. In fact she prays so hard sh sweats, and cries blood. These two scenarios are two of the most powerful in the film. At the ritual orgy a guy in a giant devil goat mask shows up and wanders through the throngs of humping Satanists, randomly touching and repositioning them! Meanwhile, back at the convent Sister Angelica has prayed and bled hard enough to be levitated off the ground. These are the scenes that make Alucarda really shine.
This is also the point that I realized My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult sampled Alucarda on the song “The Devil Does Drugs.” Sweet.
The girls interrupt a bible study by chanting about Satan and Dr Oszek is called in to figure out the situation. While Justine is being leached by the doctor, Alucarda is verbally abusing a priest during confession and grabbing at his package provoking a group flogging and the decision to perform an exorcism. But of course.
Alucarda is full of overacting and silly characters and that’s what makes it so much fun. But there are scenes that are just brilliant, the floating nun and the orgy scenes that I’ve already mentioned, are two of them. The exorcism scene is pure screaming ridiculousness and Justine does not live through it. Alucarda, who is screaming at the priest that they will all die soon, is punched out while tied to a giant wooden x in what is the laugh out loud moment of the film. This scene also boasts the line “they must come back to the bosom of the holy church”, which is the greatest line ever, and I’m not even sure why! The actual exorcism itself resembles acupuncture and is broken up by the doctor coming in to preach science over superstition. He also releases Alucarda and brings her home to take care of her. Apparently, the doctor’s decision-making skills are majorly lacking as he lets his blind daughter stay with her in her room. Alucarda takes an immediate liking to her and it looks like Justine has been replaced, and the body’s still warm!
The doc is called back to the convent as Justine’s body has disappeared and one of the sisters is found mysteriously burned to death. This last act is by far the bloodiest, with the dead nun coming back to life to be decapitated and Justine rising naked from a blood filled coffin to thrash at Sister Angelica and be burned by holy water while biting a hunk out of the sister’s neck. There is also the finale where Alucarda sets half the convent’s inhabitants on fire, Carrie White at the prom style.
Alucarda isn’t as sleazy as some of the Satan/possession films of its time, and the over acting and the massive, massive amount of screaming does get to be a bit much, but overall Alucarda is one of the best of its kind. It keeps you interested throughout, and who doesn’t love to watch a tampon/marshmallow clad nun burst into flames?