The Curator of Schlock #169 by Jeff Shuster

Alice, Sweet Alice 

Not all that sweet if you ask me. 

 I might as well go for broke and review one more slasher movie. And like last week’s entry, this is another flick from the 70s.

The 70s were a messed up decade. Look at the movies it gave us. DeliveranceThe Deer HunterStraw Dogs. And those were rated G.

People were made out of sterner stuff back then. Nowadays, a movie about a talking fish with amnesia gets a PG. We are raising a nation of namby-pambies. Next time your kids want to watch Frozen, stick in Taxi Driver in the Blu-ray player instead. Let Travis Bickle show them the ways of the world. 

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Today’s entry is 1978s Alice, Sweet Alice from director Alfred Sole (whose favorite dish happens to be filet of sole. Coincidence? You decide). Right of the bat, this movie is creeping me out. You’ve got this little girl in a Communion dress holding a candle while marathoning Hail Marys. She lifts up the candle revealing a sharp knife fixed at the bottom. Yikes! So you’re probably wondering who Alice (Paula Sheppard) is at this point. Well, she’s this obnoxious little brat who everyone hates except for her older sister, Karen (Brooke Shields), who is terrified of her.

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Karen has good reason to be terrified of her sister. Alice likes to wear these creepy doll masks along with her yellow, hooded raincoat. That’s not a good look for anyone. That outfit spells creeper.

Alice is jealous of her older sister Karen because she’s about to receive the Holy Sacrament of Communion. During Karen’s First Communion, someone wearing a yellow raincoat and a creepy doll mask strangles Karen to death. The murderer then dumps Karen’s body in cedar chest in the back of the church, setting the body on fire before closing the lid. The next thing we see is Alice sitting in her sister’s spot, ready to receive the Eucharist.

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Hmmmm. I wonder who the killer could be?

A nun discovers the flaming body of Karen. She screams and screams and screams. More members of the congregation gather to see what’s going on. They scream and scream and scream. Karen’s mother shows up and upon seeing the charred remains of her daughter, she cries and cries and cries. Meanwhile, Alice seems relatively unaffected by the gruesome scene.

At this point in the movie, I’m getting little uncomfortable. I mean killing someone in a church is one thing. Killing a little girl in a church during her First Communion is another. Killing a little girl in a church during her First Communion and then setting the body on fire. What kind of sick individual does such a thing? Alice, that’s who.

Oh, her mom and dad protest her innocence, but give me a break. Everyone else hates Alice. Their morbidly obese landlord hates Alice because she’s not as pretty as her sister.

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Ew. Uh. Alice’s aunt hates her because Alice is a brat. That and the fact that someone dressed in a yellow raincoat and a creepy doll mask tried stabbing her to death, even managed to get a few good cuts in. They send Alice over to a some shrink doctors to find out what’s wrong with her.

She’s a killer! That’s what’s wrong with her!

Oh. While Alice is locked away, someone dressed in a yellow raincoat with a creepy doll mask kills someone else. I guess Alice was innocent after all.

I guess I shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

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Jeffrey Shuster 1

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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