NC-17 | | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A former circus artist escapes from a mental hospital to rejoin his armless mother - the leader of a strange religious cult - and is forced to enact brutal murders in her name as he becomes "her arms".
All the films advertised at the cinema where the Downs syndrome youngsters are dropped off were directed by the film's executive producer, René Cardona Jr..
Doctor: Eat like a human being.
Doctor: You can't just stay here all the time, not seeing anyone.
Doctor: Now come on, stand up.
When the elephant is dying, all the close-ups of its trunk bleeding show the trunk to be clean. All the long shots of the elephant show it's trunk covered in blood.
[over the final freeze-frame] I stretch out my hands to thee: my soul thirsts for thee like a parched land ... Teach me the way I should go, for to thee I lift up my soul. - Psalms 143.6, 8
The US has two versions available on video: the R-rated version, which runs about 120 minutes, and the NC-17 version, which is about 123 minutes (the one released uncut in Britain and other European countries). The differences between the two are hardly noticeable except for two scenes - the first scene being the dismemberment of the mother. In the NC-17 version, there are extra cuts of blood and gore spraying on the walls, and then we also see a few extra shots of blood spurting out of the father's neck shortly after he commits suicide (we see this from behind; a startlingly un-explicit shot to be considered NC-17 material). The other scene is even more noticeable. The death of the prostitute is much more explicit in the NC-17 version: we see many shots of her being graphically stabbed in the back and chest with loads of blood literally dumping out of her wounds. Then, we briefly see the knife stab through the back of her neck and poke out the front - all in one explicit shot. Practically the entire scene is missing in the R-rated version.