Late Spanish director Iván Zulueta’s lost cult horror masterpiece “Arrebato” — also known in English as “Rapture” — is finally getting its first United States theatrical run four decades after opening abroad in 1980. It also happens to be among the favorite horror movies of fellow Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. Altered Innocence will release this brain-bending, phantasmagoric blend of heroin, sex, and Super-8 beginning at the Anthology Film Archive in New York on October 1, followed by a Los Angeles release in the Nuart on October 8. Exclusive to IndieWire, watch the trailer for the new restoration below.
Here’s the synopsis courtesy of Altered Innocence: “Horror movie director José is adrift in a sea of doubt and drugs. As his belated second feature nears completion, his reclusive bubble is popped by two events: a sudden reappearance from an ex-girlfriend and a package from past acquaintance Pedro: a reel of Super-8 film, an audiotape, and a door key. From there, the boundaries of time, space, and sexuality are erased as José is once more sucked into Pedro’s vampiric orbit. Together, they attempt the ultimate hallucinogenic catharsis through a moebius strip of filming and being filmed.”
In a eulogy to Zulueta after he died in 2009, Almodóvar wrote highly of the director and this film. The director called “Arrebato” “a filmic testament right from the beginning of the shoot, [which] wouldn’t be anything without the thousands of meters that Iván filmed in Super 8 throughout the previous years. [The Super 8] enraptures the prostrate and expectant bodies of the protagonists Will More and Eusebio Poncela… ushers them to a better, or non-world. The only information the film gives us is that this non-world is a sort of void of reddish color.”
He continued, “He never filmed a single banal image. The element in which he felt most comfortable was abstraction. The pure image, brimful of meanings but freed from the burden of fiction, always cushioned on a rich variety of soundscapes. David Lynch, but less shadowy and more pop. Psychedelia was his school, and he made genuine masterpieces in this style.”
As for Almodóvar, his new film “Parallel Mothers” just won Penélope Cruz the Best Actress prize at the Venice Film Festival. Sony Pictures Classics will release the drama in U.S. theaters on December 24.
Watch the trailer for “Arrebato” below.