Communion (1976)

Alice Sweet Alice DVD

Also Known As:  Alice, Sweet Alice
Allied Artists Pictures
 Alphonso DeNoble, Paula Sheppard
Directed by: Alfred Sole

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: A young girl named Alice (Paula Sheppard) is the prime suspect when her sister is murdered at her first communion and her mother (Linda Miller) doesn’t know what to think when other people close to her family are also targeted.

Kitten Cattle Call: Alice, along with her mother and sister, live in an apartment building.  The landlord’s name is Mr. Alphonso (Alphonso DeNoble) who is a heavy-set man living in filth and trash with numerous kittens.  No full grown cats, just kittens.  In an early scene he is sitting on his bed where three kittens are eating.  He spoons cat food out for them then settles back and eats some himself.

Communion - Alphonso DeNoble laying on bed with kittens

Communion - kittens eating on bed

Alphonso later asks Alice if she would go to the store for him, but she ignores him.  When he closes the door he is holding a ginger kitten.

Communion - Alphonso DeNoble holding ginger kitten

Still later, Alice brings Alphonso a rent check.  He is sitting with a kitten at his feet.

Communion - Alphonso DeNoble sitting in chair with kitten at his feet

When Alice enters the apartment they have an argument and Alphonso advances upon her to molest her.  Alice spots one of his kittens sitting on a nearby dresser.

Communion - tabby kitten on dresser

Kitty Carnage Warning! What happens next is a huge controversy in some forums but Alice grabs the kitten by the back of the head and neck and swings it roughly, warning Alphonso to stay away.  In these first shots the kitten is clearly real and is being treated very roughly.  There is even an insert shot of the kitten being held by the neck and struggling.

Communion - tabby kitten struggling while being held by neck

Alice then throws the kitten down to the ground (the kitten hitting the ground is not shown.)  When Alice leaves the apartment, Alphonso screams that the kitten is dead.  Some insist that the kitten is real throughout the entire scene while others say the kitten is fake in the final shot.  We tend to agree with the latter theory, as the kitten seems unusually stiff in Alice’s hand right before she throws it down to the ground.  Nevertheless, even if the kitten isn’t thrown to the ground the fact that it was swung around by the head and neck would thankfully never be accepted animal handling protocol today.

Communion - Alice Paula Sheppard holding possibly fake kitten by neck

There is one other scene in which Alice sneaks into Alphonso’s apartment to play a joke on him.  A kitten (which looks similar to the one that was killed earlier and could very well be the same cat) is sitting by his feet as he sleeps on the couch.  The kitten understandably runs away as Alice approaches.

Communion - kitten sitting on pillow by leg

Alphonso then falls victim to the killer and we see the kitten in the hallway lapping up Alphonso’s blood (or other bodily fluid).

Communion - kitten by pool of blood on the floor

Final Mewsings: If a man is a pervert, don’t take it out on his kitten!

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