In 1961, a divorced catholic couple's life is turned upside down when one of their two adolescent daughters is suspected of her younger sister's brutal murder during her First Communion, and a series of subsequent stabbings.


Alfred Sole


Rosemary Ritvo (original screenplay), Alfred Sole (original screenplay)
3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Miller ... Catherine Spages
Mildred Clinton Mildred Clinton ... Mrs. Tredoni
Paula E. Sheppard ... Alice Spages (as Paula Sheppard)
Niles McMaster ... Dom Spages
Jane Lowry Jane Lowry ... Aunt Annie DeLorenze
Rudolph Willrich Rudolph Willrich ... Father Tom
Michael Hardstark Michael Hardstark ... Detective Spina
Alphonso DeNoble Alphonso DeNoble ... Mr. Alphonso
Gary Allen Gary Allen ... Jim DeLorenze
Brooke Shields ... Karen Spages
Louisa Horton Louisa Horton ... Dr. Whitman
Tom Signorelli ... Detective Brennan
Lillian Roth ... Pathologist (as Miss Lillian Roth)
Patrick Gorman ... Father Pat
Kathy Rich Kathy Rich ... Angela DeLorenze


Alice Spages is a withdrawn 12-year-old girl who lives with her younger sister Karen and their mother Catherine. Karen gets most of their mother's attention, and Alice is often left out of the spotlight. When Karen is found brutally murdered in a church before her First Holy Communion, Alice is in the spotlight of suspicion, but is a 12-year-old girl really capable of such savagery? As more people die at the hands of a merciless killer, Alice's family and the police don't know what to believe. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If You Survive This Night... Nothing Will Scare You Again. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Columbia Pictures was set to release the movie (as "Communion"), but pulled out for legal reasons. When Allied Artists picked it up, director Alfred Sole demanded a title change so that the audience wouldn't think it was seeing a religious film. The book adaptation retains the film's original title. See more »


When Mrs. Tredoni answers the door for Catherine at the rectory, the boom mic is visible in a mirror. See more »


Aunt Annie DeLorenze: She's dead! Karen's dead! She's dead! Karen's dead!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the ending credits there is no music and the screen doesn't turn black, the last frame of the film remains in the background forever. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Brazilian release of the film is fully uncut, but has different music in the opening credits. See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 20 Iconic Horror Movie Masks (2019) See more »


Three Little Fishies
By Kay Kyser
Written by Saxie Dowell (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

Decent murder mystery.
26 January 2017 | by Fella_shibbySee all my reviews

I first saw this on a VHS. Revisited it recently on a DVD. The film is atmospheric n creepy, the killings r brutal n strong. There is psychological tension that makes it more of a giallo. The movie was decent inspite of its low budget. The acting was good. The killer is effective and creepy with the use of yellow raincoat and creepy mask, being an excellent stand out image and invoking a sense of dread whenever it appears on-screen. The warehouse scene really scared me. The twisting plot and suspense should be enough to get you caught up in it and keep you guessing. All in all its a decent murder mystery. The female who played the aunt kept on screaming. Is she in the hall of fame for scream queen?

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Latin

Release Date:

13 November 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Holy Terror See more »

Filming Locations:

New Jersey, USA See more »


Box Office


$340,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Harristown Funding See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (edited)

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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