ALICE SWEET ALICE
Director Alfred Sole is well attuned to the ordinariness of family lives in the poor neighbourhoods of early 1960s New Jersey. There are fine performances here from all the cast Jane Lowry makes for an on-target domineering aunt. Paula Sheppard is particularly unnerving as the child suspect the film deliberately builds upon the expectations created by The Exorcist that the killings are being conducted by a child but then reverses them in a fine series of twists that first make you think the murdered Brooke Shields might be alive and then reveals the real killers identity. However, a final freeze-frame then confirms that what one originally thought about Paula Sheppard being the killer was not that far off the mark.
The film features Brooke Shields in her first screen appearance at the age of eleven. When the film was re-released following her subsequent stardom in The Blue Lagoon (1980), it was misleadingly advertised to give the impression she was the star, although she is only on screen for the first fifteen minutes in a memorable scene where she is burned alive inside a church pew.
Director Alfred Sole subsequently made two further genre films, Tanyas Island (1980), an erotic desert island love story between a woman an ape, and Pandemonium/Thursday the 12th (1982), a slasher film parody. Nowadays, Sole has retired from directing and works as a production designer in television.
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